A space created by and for trans* women with the purpose of connecting, upLIFTing one another, and sharing resources and stories. It reaches across generations and color, location and socioeconomic standing, established by @janetmock in March 2012 to empower trans women to live visibly and connect in sisterhood and solidarity. Happy birthday to the #GirlsLikeUs hashtag and campaign that Janet Mock created which turns a year old today. It's the Twitter hashtag that grew up quickly to become a pride based movement.
It was March 27, 2012, during the contentious fight Jenna Talackova waged to bring down the odious 'natural born woman' rule being used to bar transwomen from competing in pageants that Janet Mock first used the #GirlsLikeUs Twitter hashtag in a tweet linked to a petition supporting Jenna.
We know that Jenna's fight to take down that rule was successful and she proudly walked the stage as a contestant in the Miss Canada Universe pageant a few weeks later. That battle Jenna and transwomen around the planet waged in support of her also opened the doors for other girls like us to compete in Miss Universe pageant system events around the world (despite a few transphobic holdouts) starting this year.
From that March 27 first use of it the #Girlslikeus hashtag took off and went viral to the point that as an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign, I weave it into my TransGriot posts from time to time when I want to have a change of pace phrase to describe us instead of just trans woman.
Although it's a campaign created by a Black trans woman, she's created it for all of us and I hope the trans brothers do something similar. Janet made that clear in a subsequent post she wrote on her blog and a May 15, 2012 tweet about the #Girlslikeus campaign.
#GirlsLikeUs is for ALL trans women, regardless of color, but all who lend their voice to amplify ours knows that intersectionality matters.
Happy first birthday, #GirlsLikeUs.