One of the deadliest epidemics in the US is violence against Black transgender people. The Human Rights Campaign says at least 45 transgender or gender nonconforming people were murdered in 2021, and at least 35 or more murdered in 2022.
According to the Williams Institute, an estimated 1.6 million people in the US, 13 or older identify as transgender with 81 percent of their murders accounting for people of color.
59 percent were Black. Many other victims go unreported, while others are misgendered.
Because of the transphobia they continue to face, Black trans women are at a higher risk for suicide, homelessness and mental health issues. There aren’t enough trangender competent mental health services, causing further spreading of this pandemic.
According to Forbes, Black transgender and non-binary youth report double the rate of seriously considering (27% vs 59%) and attempting suicide (15% vs 32%) in the past 12 months compared to cisgender Black LGBQ youth.
PhD a Research Scientist for The Trevor Project, Myeshia Price-Feeney, says that she is troubled by these horrific statistics.
“Black LGBTQ youth experience heightened rates of suicidality similar to all LGBTQ youth, but they are accessing professional care at lower rates, Price-Feeney said.
“These troubling findings suggest that existing models of care have failed at providing black LGBTQ youth access to appropriate and acceptable mental health services.
“They underscore the need for culturally competent, community-derived suicide prevention programs.
State laws also leave Black trans women vulnerable, which acts as a form of state-sanctioned violence against them. 28 states have dangerous hate crime laws that don’t include protections for trans people. Several states also recognize the “trans panic defense,” a claim that a defendant was driven to violence due to their volatile emotional state after discovering that someone is transgender, as a valid legal defense for violence against Black trans women. Some states are so bad at protecting the rights of transgender people that online lists like “Where to Move in the United States if You’re Trans” have popped up; of course, if you’re among the 34% of Black trans people who are extremely poor, or the 41% of Black trans people who have experienced homelessness (the bulk of whom are likely Black trans women), moving to safer states is simply not possible.
Over the years, multiple trans support organizations have been curated in hopes of aiding their disparaged community. The TMI Project has encouraged over 100 storytelling workshops that have allowed over 2,000 to present to an audience of nearly 200,000 people in schools, colleges, prisons, mental health clinics, theaters, community centers, the United Nations and online providing them with an outlet of expressions while they spread awareness.
“TMI Project does the exact kind of work that the world needs. From the moment I learned about them I wanted to contribute to the way they spread outstanding courage, community, and kindness. TMI Project makes the world a more honest, open place and I am honored to be given the chance to help foster and facilitate their mission,” workshop leader Raine Grayson said.
If anyone is seeking refuge within the Black trans community or just the trans community in general, please see the list below for support, advocacy or guidance.
“This year saw unprecedented amounts of negative rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and nonbinary people, as well as their families, loved ones and even their medical providers,” Goldberg said. “You can’t separate that from the horrific, ongoing violence against transgender people.”