The Violence That Black Trans Women Face
[content warning: transmisogynoir] Tiffany Edwards, 28 years old, is a Black trans woman who was shot to death in Ohio. Cemia “Ci Ci” Dove, 20 years old, is Black trans woman who was stabbed to death and her body was further brutalized in Ohio. Mia Henderson, 26 years old, is a Black trans woman who was killed and her body experienced “severe trauma” in Maryland. Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis, 22 years old, is a Black trans woman who was shot to death in Ohio.
They are just a (recent) sampling of the young Black trans women who face astronomical rates (such that most homicides among LGBTQ people are of trans women of colour, particularly Black trans women) of violence and homicide because of anti-Blackness, racism, sexism, misogyny, misogynoir, colourism, classism/economic violence, for some, misogynoir specific to sex work, and transmisogyny in general. There are so many intersecting oppressions and one that is regularly eclipsed when violence on Black trans women is discussed is anti-Blackness itself, which alludes to the ways in which the socially acceptable hatred and oppression of Black women in general amplifies for Black trans women. Even in death, as anti-Blackness never allows death to be the final act for Black people, these women are misgendered and immediately associated with crime, versus their gender and humanity honored and their lives respected. Blackness alone, let alone their other intersecting oppressions guarantees that the latter is unlikely.
Whenever street harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, police harassment, police brutality, extrajudicial violence/execution and State violence are discussed, Black trans women’s experiences have to be included. Whether the violence is intraracial (re: what Laverne Cox explained about this, not as arbitrary Black pathology but inherently occurring because of the impact of anti-Blackness, White supremacy and more on gender for Black people), interracial (as some violence occurs to Black trans women just for existing, as with CeCe McDonald, while some is related to transmisogynoir and sex work), extrajudicial or State violence (such as the consistent willful violence from the police as in what Monica Jones experienced, healthcare and legal systems), Black trans women’s experiences have to be included. (And there’s much to be said about the impact of oppression on Black trans women and mental health since almost 50% Black trans people, in general, have attempted suicide.)
Information on violence against Black trans women and structural factors that contribute to this (some includes other LGBTQIA populations):
- NCAVP Report: 2012 Hate Violence Disproportionately Target Transgender Women of Color
- National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities Released Today
- Injustice At Every Turn: A Look At Black Respondents In The National Transgender Discrimination Survey
- “Black Trans Bodies Are Under Attack”: Freed Activist CeCe McDonald, Actress Laverne Cox Speak Out
- Blogs: Trans Griot and Janet Mock
Devastating to regularly encounter these stories. This is also violence on Black people. Tiffany’s, Cemia’s, Mia’s and Brittany’s lives mattered. Black trans women matter.