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What is the TTA (Toronto Trans Alliance)?
The TTA is a shell organization run by boyd kodak. Much like how corporations use shell companies to hide and move capital, the TTA deals in political capital. The origin of the TTA can be traced back to a power struggle between trans groups and community members with conflicting and competing objectives. If you go onto their facebook group (their only real community engagement), you will see that it serves as a space for others to share events. There is virtually no organizational structure or process to be found.
How and Why did the TTA seize power from community?
For decades, conflicts in the trans community have either been resolved through informal community processes, or activity has stagnated due to unresolved disagreements. This started to change when significant funding started to flow into organizations, which then started to morph into the non-profits we see today. This shift brought in a new culture of trans people employed as staff, serving on boards, and generally having specialized roles, stakes, interests, and more importantly, holding positions of power. While these may seem like only positive developments, the result is the situation we find oursleves in today: Conflict resolution through power struggles instead of community engagement. The social capital gained through the apparent increase in trans representation allows for a lack of true commmunity accountability, in effect a decrease in trans representation. Without true community accountability, any seemingly progressive structures feed back into harmful systems that attack community.
In the case of the TTA, it's role as a shell organization serves people like Susan Gapka or Nicki Ward by providing them with increased social and political capital in exchange for representational legitimacy. Meanwhile, many of these people who provide legitimacy are known to be racist, classist, and in fact transphobic. Examples include openly inviting police presence at trans events, being members of right-wing groups like LGBTory, silencing and excluding homeless trans people, and even being vocal about their support for donald trump.
Because of the aforementioned shift in culture and structure towards unaccountability, it is no surprise that these are the types of personalities that are able to hold positions of power.
For almost its entire existence the TTA has focused almost exclusively on holding a flag-raising at city hall. The flag-raising (itself being a harmful event) provides the TTA and those involved with enough political and social capital that they can then leverage in their careers and other organizations, extending their control over many aspects of trans community organizing, services and resources.
How TTA perpetuates violence against trans people
Illegitimate and unaccountable organizations like the TTA enforce systems of power and decision-making which erase the trans community’s current practice and historical tradition of processing internal politics and creating resources & support structures. These practices are divisive and have already led to an increase in the amount of poverty, carceral violence, social isolation and other forms of systemic abuse.
The TTA has positioned itself as an umbrella group for all trans people in Tkaronto and is now formally recognized by the city government. The TTA has a history of collaborating with Toronto city officials in ways that are insulting and harmful for trans people - exposing themselves as a racist and conservative group.
Protest Against The TTA's Racist Flag-raisings (Tue Nov 20th)
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