Woman is the nigger of the world. —John Lennon
This loaded song lyric is not only a manifestation of a Yoko Ono-hypnotized John Lennon, but a statement that stops you in your tracks. If that’s the case, then what of black women? Moreover, what of transgender women, and to take it even further—what of black trans women?
It is no secret that trans women and, specifically, black trans women are being brutally slain, but it also isn’t front-page news. We need to create awareness around this tragic truth. 2016 was the deadliest year on record, with 27 homicides of transgender people reported. Most of them were women of color.
Already, in 2017, eight trans women have been killed and seven of those women were black. So, at this rate, we’re facing a painfully larger number of impending deaths of trans women.
Black trans women are the biggest victims of homicide in the trans community, and many of these deaths have gone unsolved. Why are black trans women dying at unreal rates? Black trans woman, activist and writer Raquel Willis told The Root, “It is not true that the black community is inherently more homophobic or inherently more transphobic than any other community.”
Our very own government has gone so far as to restrict access to bathrooms for trans men and women in 16 states. “That is violence as well,” Willis said.
Black trans women deal with a “mixed bag” of issues because of their intersectionality. If we go around quoting John Lennon, we forget that there are women who don’t even get close to the privilege white women enjoy—even though many of them still think they’re the “nigger” of the world.
So this is for Chyna Gibson, Ciara McElveen, Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, Jaquarrius Holland, JoJo Striker, Keke Collier and many other trans women who have lost their lives because of hate. We’re speaking out, saying their names and shining light on a violent issue our country is facing. Watch the video above for more.