Our Take: #ProtectTransWomen Day of Action
At least seven transgender women of color have been killed this year, according to The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). The last three instances occurred at the end of February, all in a single week. A 2013 report on LGBTQ communities showed that transgender women are six times more likely to experience police violence, almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence, and account for a staggering 72% of hate violence homicides.
By all accounts, 2016 was the most dangerous year on record for trans women, but 2017 is shaping up to be far, far worse.
If you use the internet, watch television, hate-read Twitter, or have recently “quit” Facebook but still managed to catch a glimpse of a friend’s newsfeed over the last few days, then you’ve already heard: In an interview with Channel 4 news, Nigerian author and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made some extremely transphobic remarks in direct opposition to the fact that trans women are women. (We won’t include the transcript here, but we’re linking to the interview.)
This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that the lives of trans women are negotiated and defined in mainstream media by cisgender feminists. Today is a national day of action to #ProtectTransWomen, and we’re issuing this What Just Happened because it cannot be said enough:
Trans women are women.
Repeating that fact is the least we can do. What good is feminism if it doesn’t prioritize the protection of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities? Feminism has a long history of failing transgender women but we cannot ever stop holding it, and ourselves, accountable. Cisgender feminists need to understand that protecting a vulnerable population isn’t equivalent to speaking for them. Trans women can speak for themselves and narrate the story of their own lives.
What are we doing to stand up for trans women everywhere? Here is a list of writings to read and share widely, as well as actions to take and organizations to support trans women.
Still think that trans women have male privilege? These 7 points prove they don’t. [Everyday Feminism]
It’s time to end the long history of feminism failing transgender women. [Bitch Media]
A trans woman’s thoughts on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s transphobic remarks. [Twitter]
We should always, always, always be listening to Laverne Cox. [Twitter]
ICE detained an undocumented trans woman when she sought domestic abuse protection, and this will only get worse under Trump. [Broadly]
10 trans women pioneers they definitely didn’t tell you about in history class. [Autostraddle]
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
Join a #ProtectTransWomen day of action event in your city.
Know Your Rights, a guide from the ACLU.
Topside Press is hosting its inaugural summer writers’ workshop for 26 trans women writers in Brooklyn this coming August. They need help to make it happen!
What should Bitch do?
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