Each March we take pause to recognize Women’s History and to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, entrepreneurial, and political achievements of women. At goodbuy, and nationwide, this month serves as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of including and honoring the intersectional identities, contributions, and presence of all women, including trans women and non-binary folks.
As we anticipate Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, this year the importance of centering our LGBTQ+ community feels increasingly urgent. A mere three months into the year, and the Human Rights Campaign is tracking 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have already been introduced in statehouses across the country. Of these, 175 specifically restrict the rights of transgender folks, the highest number of bills targeting trans folks in a single year to date.
We encourage folks everywhere to continue supporting the 1.4 million LGBTQ+ owned businesses in the U.S. (2% of which are trans-owned) and to harness their purchasing power to amplify and reaffirm gender inclusivity with their dollar. And we recognize that the legislative attacks, structural harms, and oppression we’re witnessing require further, sustained action.
For those of us who want to co-create a world where all are respected, cared for, and cherished for being themselves (and if you’ve gotten this far, we know this includes you) there are several impactful ways to contribute that many of us are already familiar with.
Some of these actions include:
GB: Mere (MA) and Anna (AG), thank you both for taking the time to chat with us today. To begin, could you share with us the story and experience that led you to create Urbody?
AG: Of course! We’re so excited to be having this conversation. Urbody came to be after my co-founder Mere and I started having conversations about inclusivity in fashion. Mere was struggling to find options that fit their body and expressed who they are, and having worked in the space for so long, I understood how the foundation of the industry made it more challenging for people like Mere to access gender-affirming underwear and apparel that fit their body. As a therapist working with trans folks, Mere knew they weren’t alone in facing this problem. We both felt the community deserved more, and that it was time to find a solution. So together we set out to launch a brand that prioritized designed styles for the whole gender spectrum and addressed the limitations of binary fit templates that are typically used when creating garments.
MA: I’d be curious to learn what prompted the goodbuy team to reach out to Anna and I here at Urbody?
GB: First, thank you both for sharing the motivation and purpose behind Urbody. We’re so grateful to be collaborating with y’all! As a female-founded, women-led team, goodbuy is on a mission to redistribute economic prosperity and provide resources and awareness for small business owners (and their respective communities).
We do this by redistributing access and visibility across sixteen intersectional business owner identities and values, including LGBTQIA+ owned businesses. As a small team, it’s hard to imagine becoming “experts” on all of the unique, lived experiences and identities our business owners hold, and the many values our brands center in their work. So, while our team continues to learn and advocate individually and collectively, we’re also really grateful for opportunities to engage, learn, and amplify the experiences and contributions of our incredible community—not only for “one-off” moments or “month-long observances,” but consistently and continually throughout the year. This is also the kind of behavior and commitment goodbuy encourages and aspires to instill in our shoppers too!
As Women’s History Month and Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) approached, it was really important to our team not only to share the voices and experiences of our cis, hetero, enabled, white female-identifying business owners, but also to center and amplify the voices of our trans and non-binary business owners as well. Our team really admires the gender inclusive mission and precedent that Urbody is modeling for others and we're really hopeful this is just the beginning.
MA: Thanks for sharing that with us. When it comes to the work of examining your existing level of gender literacy and inclusivity, can you share some of the biggest questions or fears you all have had?
GB: Yes, of course. Honestly, we’ve had (and continue to have) so many. I’d say one of our greatest fears has been how to equitably engage and prioritize this work in relation to the many other areas of care and support we want to extend across all of our business owner communities. How, also, can we ensure we’re holding ourselves accountable to the time, energy, and learning required to better engage with the work of gender inclusivity and prioritize it at the fore of our thinking, without relying on and/or exploiting the labor and experiences of others? Transparently, for us, I think there’s always a bit of a fear that we’ll cause unintended harm as we learn, or that we’ll engage with or attempt to amplify others who are doing this work in harmful ways.
This has prompted a lot of a questions for our team, a few that are top of mind:
GB: Thanks for providing the opportunity to be vulnerable about some of the fears and questions we’re still learning to answer. That leads me to my next question for you all: For those who may not be familiar with TDOV, could you tell us a bit more about the history and meaning of this day?
MA: I’d be happy to share more about TDOV. Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) happens annually on March 31st and is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the contributions of the trans community.
TDOV was founded by Rachel Crandall to address the lack of recognition trans folks receive outside of or beyond their suffering. At the time, the only widely-known day centered on the trans community was Trans Day of Remembrance. The first TDOV was held 14 years ago, on March 31, 2009.
GB: Thanks for helping us learn more about the importance of TDOV. For those of us who may not identify as part of the community, can you share how we might best show up, engage, and show our support on TDOV?
MA: Of course. Allies need to commit to staying informed about and speaking out against the legislative attacks happening against trans people. They need to do their part to actively protect trans people and our access to services and human rights in public. In past years, allyship around TDOV looked like educating yourself about gender, learning trans history, and lifting trans voices. This year is different because the stakes are higher and the situation is even more dire. We need you to show up now more than ever. Attend protests, call your local legislator, write letters, and donate to the organizations leading the effort to combat the rampant transphobia we are witnessing unfold in legislation across the country.
GB: Agreed wholeheartedly. The time to act and protect our communities is now. Thanks for sharing some of the actionable ways folks can engage on TDOV and beyond. I’m curious, given that goodbuy is a shopping tool, what thoughts do you have on how our community of shoppers (and business owners) can prioritize gender inclusivity in what they do, and/or in their purchasing behaviors and decisions all-year?
MA: Great question! You can start by paying attention to how products are categorized and described. Ask yourself: does everyone feel included? Engage in a process of reflecting on any assumptions you or a brand may have about who would wear or buy a particular product. In addition, look for examples of gender-inclusive language and gender diversity in imagery on brands’ websites. Lastly, hire (if you’re a brand) or purchase from (if you’re a shopper) trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people! A few of our favorites are DR Dht, OYT Cosmetics, Mars Wright, Aunties LA, and Ash + Chess!
GB: Given our team and community is still learning, what actions can we take (all year) to support the trans community beyond TDOV? What resources can you recommend that we engage with?
Let us know we’re not alone! When you see a trans person is feeling unsafe, disrespected, or mistreated—show up, use your voice, and intervene when appropriate or necessary. For example, create spaces where folks can feel safe to be themselves by accompanying them to the bathroom or another potentially unsafe space, including pronouns in your introductions, asking others their pronouns, and advocating for gender inclusive policies.
Get involved by writing letters, attending protests, calling politicians, and advocating for equal rights, protections and access to healthcare by speaking out against anti-trans legislation. The Trans Formations Project is a trans-led nonprofit dedicated to providing accurate, actionable, and accessible information for the ongoing anti-trans legislative crisis across the U.S.. To learn more about the anti-trans legislation in your state, you can visit the Trans Legislation Tracker or connect with your local ACLU chapter for additional resources and information on how to engage and take action.
Educate yourself about gender diversity and trans issues in an ongoing way. Share what you’re learning with others, and become familiar with the data and language that helps to dispel misinformation and myths about the trans community. To get started, consider amplifying, following, and supporting the work and contributions of folks like: Raquel Willis, Chase Strangio, Schuyler Bailar (Pink Mantaray), Elle Moxley, Bamby Salcedo, and Alok Vaid-Menon.
Donate to the trans-led organizations on the front lines of this fight to support trans lives, such as: Trans Empowerment Project, Campaign for Southern Equality, Trans Lifeline, and Trans Justice Funding Project.
MA: How about for you all at goodbuy– what have you learned about what it means to be an ally– both all year long, and also on specific days like Trans Day of Visibility?
GB: Such a good question! Recognizing that this work is not something to be “completed,” or “finished,” but rather something to continually show up to and engage with from a place of humility, openness, and an authentic willingness to learn has been really important for us. As a team, we’re working to “do gooder,” every day. Meaning we strive to take an active, engaged approach to learning, especially in moments when we have the opportunity to be more intentional, and more thoughtful in how we engage with others. For example, this might mean reminding someone in the office to use gender-inclusive language when addressing others (or a group), attending a workshop to learn how to best communicate and dispel myths about trans folks, and/or sharing learnings and resources for how to incorporate gender inclusive considerations into UI/UX design and practices.
While we’re fortunate that the tools goodbuy offers were designed to provide accessible opportunities to support LGBTQ+ owned businesses 365 days per year, (and we feel that’s so much of the beauty of what we’re creating) we’re also learning how to prioritize and ensure that we incorporate, amplify, and share the voices, experiences, perspectives, and stories of LGBTQ+ folks more consistently. We’re still learning to do this by considering such insights and lived experiences not only in our marketing efforts, but also in our product decisions, internal team policies, education, and practices, and in the collaborations and partnerships we engage in and amplify.
GB: Thanks for providing us the opportunity to share some of our continued efforts, and again for sharing your time and contributions with us today. As we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like folks to know?
MA: I’d just like to reiterate the importance of taking action in this political climate. If you claim to love or care about trans people, you need to show up and speak out now.