Freedom Papers

Madison Common Council Declares the City of Madison a sanctuary for Trans and Non-binary individuals

Dear Community,

On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the Madison Common Council declared the city of Madison a sanctuary for trans and non-binary individuals, just four days after Dane County passed a resolution and became the first county in Wisconsin to be a sanctuary for trans and non-binary people.

While we recognize that these acts are the first because of the growing support for fascist politics in the US, Freedom, Inc. is clear; a municipal declaration opposing ‘measures that would allow legal violence’ against a segment of its own population is not even a low bar. It is the foundation underneath the floor. Of course, so far in 2023 there have been over 500 anti-trans bills introduced in various legislative bodies across the US, many targeting trans youth from accessing extra curricular programs or gender-affirming care. Because of these hateful policies and laws, 44.1% of trans youth are losing or at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care and mundane activities that most others take for granted.

As such, the response to attacks against our bodily autonomy and the promotion of violence against transgender and other queer persons, must be more robust than proclamations opposing legalized patriarchal vigilante violence performed in the name of religion. We must Marshall social resources to actively defend trans and queer folx from this violence, offer material support to those in need of housing and other basics and provide the health care necessary for our folx to develop, thrive and live full and happy lives.

Madison proclaims it ‘opposes measure that would allow legal violence towards trans people.’ So what resources are being marshaled to defend trans folx from legal and vigilante violence?

Madison proclaims ‘their commitment to protecting transgender and nonbinary individuals.’ So what resources are being marshaled to protect those individuals fleeing oppression from nearby non-sanctuaries for their own safety ad well-being?

Madison proclaims that ‘access to healthcare is a fundamental right and all people in Madison and the State of Wisconsin should have access to all health care.’ So what resources are being marshaled to make health care, including gender-affirming care, accessible to those who cannot afford to purchase health insurance, pay deductibles and copays and the incidental costs associated with accessing health care in the first place?

These challenges are not reserved for Madison, but include Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Middleton and the entire region.

For this to be truly safe place for trans and non-binary people, there must be resources marshaled to address financial stability, homelessness, food deserts, education and access to holistic health care. Trans and non-binary people should not have to decide between employment, education and access to a full range of holistic health options. Trans and non-binary people deserve not just to live, but to live a quality and fulfilling life. Governments have a responsibility to not just oppose legalized violence, but to promote and facilitate the development of human lives.

To be clear, thees dual proclamations are important victories for the social justice organizations who fought for them, particularly in the face of hate and real threats of violence. Sanctuary city status can serve as a critical first step to turning the tide of hate into a blanket of love. We salute, celebrate and thank the local and regional organizations that fought hard to mark this moment possible.

We no call on those organizations, and all of the individuals who love justice, to organize towards marshaling tangible resources in support of trans and non-binary folx.

Freedom, Inc. will continue to be a safe and loving space for Black and Southeast Asian Queer, Trans, and Intersex people, providing radical direct services in service of building community and developing queer and trans social justice leaders.

Support our queer justice work by donating to our Give OUT Day fundraiser at Your donation makes it possible for us to provide radical direct services and leadership development such as our annual Queer Scholarship. Our scholarship program has supported Black and HMoob LGBTQI+ community members awarding recipients financial support for continued education or health and wellness. This year we have increased our scholarships to 8, because of the impact of these anti-trans bills. For more information on the Queer Scholarship program, please contact Zon Moua at

Love & Power,

Freedom, Inc. Queer & Trans Power Team