Trans People of Color: Everyday People
In a piece for the Huffington Post, Kylar W. Broadus, founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, offers reflections on anti-transgender violence in observance of Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.
The National Anti-Violence Project (NCAVP) shows that trans people of color are the most targeted due to race and lack of conformity of our gender identities and presentations to the greater society. In fact, according to the NCAVP 40 percent of the fatal attacks against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in 2011 specifically targeted trans women, particularly trans women of color. It's this combination that seems to make us more susceptible to hate violence, which can come in many forms.
Trans people of color are particularly susceptible to being targeted while walking down the street, attending school, catching a bus, shopping or even obtaining employment, just to name a few examples, due to their race and gender identity and presentation. Hate violence comes in the form of disapproving stares; negative comments, jokes and slurs; and harassment at school by students, teachers and administrators and at work by coworkers and superiors. Trans people of color are twice as likely to be targeted or killed due to race and gender identity and presentation. These acts lead to further aggression of violence. It even condones violence that is perpetuated by "the system," which includes courts, law enforcement and prison workers. We are profiled just walking down the street and then subjected to extra scrutiny and attention that doesn't protect trans people but makes us even more vulnerable and likely to become incarcerated and a part of the system in which we suffer even more abuse. Perpetuating hate and violence condones domestic violence by our partners once others find out we're trans. It condones mistreatment in schools, communities, work and other places. Hate and violence not only lead to abuse and murder but sometimes to suicide. According to the national survey "Injustice at Every Turn," nearly half, or 41 percent, of trans people have attempted suicide, which is 25-percent more than the national average.
Read Kylar W. Broadus' entire piece at the Huffington Post.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.