On Wednesday, transgender and LGBT anti-violence advocates met with Obama Administration officials to offer strategies for addressing the epidemic of violence against transgender people. Recognizing that violence is an especially horrific reality in so many transgender people’s lives, the Administration heard a broad range of policy ideas from the National Center for Transgender Equality and eight other organizations.
The meeting at the White House was facilitated by NCTE’s Executive Director and the team included, among others, Gwendolyn Smith, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Smith shared with the Administration real life stories of transgender people who have faced violence.
NCTE’s groundbreaking National Transgender Discrimination Survey released with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, found that 26 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming people have been assaulted because of their gender identity/expression. Ten percent reported experiencing sexual assault because they are transgender.
In the last 12 months, according to the Transgender Murder Monitoring project, 221 transgender people were lost to violence worldwide. This brings the total number of deaths due to anti-transgender violence to 755 since the project began monitoring murders in 2008.
NCTE’s Mara Keisling said, “So many kinds of violence are epidemic for transgender people: hate violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, school bullying, and violence by police. And though certain categories of trans people are more likely to face violence, especially people of color, working class people, young people, women and immigrants, all demographic categories of trans people are more likely to be victims than non-trans people.”
Keisling continued, “Meeting with the White House at all, especially the week prior to Transgender Day of Remembrance, says a lot about the President’s commitment to making America safer and better for transgender people.”