LGBTQ Rights Group Calls Attention To Violence Against Trans People Of Color, Amid Racial Inequality

LGBTQ rights advocates are urging racial inequality protesters to not overlook the violence faced by transgender people of color.

“I don’t think that anybody would say that there’s been enough attention focused on and around trans people and the state of violence they live in,” author and human rights advocate Tori Cooper told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

As the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, Cooper works for the empowerment of the transgender community focusing on public safety and public education.

“I think it is a weakness of the Black Lives Matter movement,” she said. “We only speak out when black men are being harmed or murdered.”

The call for attention on what some experts see as an “epidemic” of violence against transgender women of color comes after the death of George Floyd provoked a renewed sense of urgency in dealing with systemic racism and racially based violence.

“We’ve been seeing now [that] for years trans women of color in particular are disproportionately impacted by hate violence,” Beverly Tillery, the executive director of the Anti-Violence Project, told the Daily News in 2019.

The project, the country’s largest anti-LGBTQ violence organization has collected data on anti-LGBTQ violence for over 20 years.

At least 12 transgender or gender-nonconforming people were killed in the U.S. in 2020, according to the HRC. Last year the organization tracked at least 26 anti-trans deaths.

The death of Floyd, an unarmed black man in May, sparked an unprecedented number of nationwide protests involving people of all races who are fed up with the treatment of black Americans by police.

Transgender rights advocates are hoping to use the moment to shed light on the violence faced by trans people of color.

“The cis (non-transgender) people always take to the streets over all of their deaths, their murders,” TS Candii, a 26-year-old black trans woman told VICE during a protest in New York City on June 2.

“We have two different worlds. We’re fed up with the murders. We’re fed up with law enforcement just brutally killing us,” she added.

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