The Hidden Epidemic Of Violence Against Transgender Americans

There’s A Hidden Epidemic Of Violence In America – And Someone You Love May Be In Danger (VIDEO)

The Number Of Transgender People Facing Disproportionate Levels Of Violence Needs To Be More Widely Reported

The transgender community in New Orleans is in shock after two brutal murders of transgender women happened within 48 hours. CNN reports that Chyna Gibson was shot to death on last Saturday night. A second woman, Ciara McElveen, was found stabbed to Monday.

Sadly, though shocking, this isn’t abnormal. Far too many transgender Americans are facing hate, violence and discrimination. In fact, last year was the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans with 27 recorded murders. And yet, the issue of violence towards transgender citizens seems to fly under the radar.

Yes, there is plenty of coverage of “bathroom bills” and the fight in some states over the use of gender appropriate washrooms but that is just the tip of the iceberg of what transgender Americans must face on a daily basis and groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and GLAAD desperately want that to change.

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As the HRC points out, violence is hitting transgender women of color the hardest.

“It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.”

Mara Keisling of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) echoed the HRC in Time magazine.

“These are all characteristics of people in the United States who are more susceptible to violence, of people who are more marginalized economically and educationally, people who end up having a bullseye on their back.”

The lack of reporting of the violence transgender Americans are facing has GLAAD alarmed and calling for more media coverage, especially when it comes to transgender people of color. And, of course, they are asking the media to treat transgender victims with dignity and respect by making sure they use the “lived identity, name, and pronoun of the victim” in their reporting.

GLAAD also offers a handy guide on their website to help the media use proper terms to help report in the most dignified way possible. They are also committed to calling out the media when people are misgendered or poorly represented through victim-blaming.

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The NCAVP goes even further, calling for a wholesale change in how society treats transgender citizens.

“As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives.”

In other words, treat transgender people, particularly transgender people of color, as the human beings they are. After all, these are people who live next door, who take the same bus as you, who shop at the same stores as you, and may even be in your family. There are people out there who are transgender, who you may know and love dearly, but are afraid to come out as transgender because they know the violence others who have faced. Your understanding and openness to discuss these issues could mean the difference between life and death for people that you pass by on a daily basis, or even live in your own house.

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GLAAD is keeping a running list of transgender people who have been murdered this year. These are real people who have suffered the violence too many transgender people have faced. It would be nice if GLAAD didn’t have to keep a list like this, but for now it is a necessary reminder of the reality for many transgender people and a way to show they will be remembered:

Jaquarrius Holland: Killed on February 19 in Monroe, Louisiana (identified as trans on February 28). She was 18 years old.

Ciara McElveen: Killed on February 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 21 years old.

Chyna Gibson: Killed on February 25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 31 years old.

Keke Collier: Killed on February 21 in Englewood, Chicago. She was 24 years old.

JoJo Striker: Killed on February 8 in Toledo, Ohio. She was 23 years old.

Mesha Caldwell: Killed on January 4 in Canton, Mississippi. She was 41 years old.

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow: Killed on January 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was 28 years old.

[brid video=”118736″ player=”5260″ title=”Capturing Hate Analyzing Videos of Violence Against Transgender People in the U.S.”]

Feature image bykst/Pixabay

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Chris Hearn is an ageing freelance writer located in wintery Winnipeg. He is a stay-at-home-parent, amateur stand-up comedian, and a guy with a lot of opinions, much to everyone’s dismay.