Black Trans Women's Lives Matter: What You Should Know

In 2018, at least 26 Ttransgender people were reported killed and last year, in 2019, 12 black trans women have been murdered with the two youngest girls being 17 years old, eight of them in their 20s, and the oldest is 40 years old according to the Human Rights Campaign. 

Many of these victims are killed by absolute strangers, their partners, acquaintances, while some are still yet to be identified.  Some of the cases involved blatant and evident bias towards them. They are forced into poverty, homlessness, unemployment, and many will use sex work as a way to survive on the streets, but their identites put them in high risk and danger.

Black Trans women are affected disproportionately by violence and that’s been known for a very long time. These murders show us how inseparable the issues of anti-trans and anti-black violence are. Acknowledging the racial components of these crimes are crucial and if we don’t we fail to really understand why they are happening, and figure out how to end it. 

While the Black Lives Matter movement focuses on police brutality, the root of the danger of Black trans women are because of the government's systematic oppression and inequality which would also fit into BLM’s mission. 

This long known violence against black trans women, within the past years, has become very visible in mainstream media. But it is still very rare that it is presented as an issue made by both racism and also transphobia. We live in a country that continuously fails to acknowledge and deal with this ongoing issue of racial inequality, engrained systematic oppression, and discrimination against the black community. Without any protection against trans discrimination, Black trans women will remain incredibly vulnerable and heavily exposed to dangerous situations.