I’m getting ready for a trans choir “flash mob” performance that I’m going to be in tomorrow. We’re going to be “spontaneously” singing on 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver tomorrow afternoon. The chosen date falls just between National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11) and the Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20). We’re singing, “We are here in the memory of those who have fallen…” Celebration, pride, and grief are all somehow simultaneously present.
I was going to bring a list of transgender people who have been murdered in the US in 2016, for anyone who is interested. I pulled some articles. One account noted that back in September, the 23rd killing made this the deadliest year for transgender people since such things have been tracked. I found this list of names and short descriptions on a Wikipedia page that’s clearly lovingly maintained by someone (or some group) who cares. And here’s an interesting fact:
Out of the 23 transgender people killed, sixteen are described as black. Three are described as Latina. One is described as a trans woman of color. One is described as white. Two are not described by their race.
What can be said here?
Here’s what comes up for me: That we talk some about how fucked up it is that realizing someone is transgender is a valid legal reason for murdering them, but we talk not much about the clear fact that being of a non-white race most definitely comes into play when it’s being determined how expendable your life is, here in the US.
Right now, I am just pointing out what stands out to me. And at this particular moment, that’s all the words I have.
Thank you so much for writing about this. I recall reading the stats and being so stunned that I simply stared into space for the longest time. I had no words. I still don’t and I’m glad you do.