The Urgent Optimism Award is given to the cards that best portray a future challenge LGBTQ people can solve.
Much has been written and discussed about the impact that the new voter ID laws will have on black and Latino voters, elderly and student voters, and woman and those with low income. Fewer discussions and articles have focused on the implications that the new voter ID laws will have on transgender citizens. People who have transitioned to live in a gender different from the gender assigned to them at birth face significant obstacles to obtaining identification documents that reflect their correct gender. The lack of a government-issued ID that accurately reflects one’s gender can be challenging in a variety of activities, including, with the passage of strict photo ID laws, the act of voting.
Jody L Herman of the Williams Institute has estimated that over 24,000 transgender citizens are at risk for disenfranchisement in the ten states that will or could have strict photo ID laws in place during the upcoming November general elections. It is because the risk of depriving transgender citizens the right to vote is real and extremely troubling that we have awarded the My2024 Urgent Optimism prize to Dayna’s card.
Voting is a fundamental right in a representative democracy, and we need to work together to protect that right for everyone. This means, as Alana Cadence states in her card, we will need to make documentation processes more encompassing of LGBTQ people’s identities.
By starting today, we can ensure that Dayna’s vision of registering as Trans and enjoying all the benefits our tax code affords will be her and others’ reality in 2024.