It’s a necessity to end anti-transgender violence, think about what you say

Nov. 16, 2015

Hannah Harvey
hharvey@uccs.edu

“Trans woman fatally shot in head in suspected hate crime.”

We see these types of headlines too often. In a society full of socially progressive millennials, I’m shocked to see that these crimes still occur.

As the Transgender Day of Remembrance nears on Nov. 20, it’s important that we remember to extend respect, kindness and open-mindedness to one another.

You should never judge someone based on their identity; you have no idea what they are going through.

This year, visibility among the trans community has increased considerably.

Companies such as Netflix are doing their part to be inclusive and intersectional by hiring transgender actors and actresses, in addition to focusing the subject matter of the shows o the LGBT community.

Two Netflix original series, “Orange is the New Black” and “Sense8” are great examples.

Trans actresses like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock are doing amazing work to bring awareness to the negative stigma that surrounds the community and to empower trans individuals as a result.

Many individuals are beginning to share their stories of stigmatization, discrimination and overcoming the challenges associated with these.

But, this carries a few unfortunate repercussions.

According to The Advocate, 21 transgender women have been murdered in the United States this year alone, the majority of victims being women of color. These murders are typically gruesome and go unsolved a majority of the time.

Sadly, media seem to ignore this violence and instead focus on sensationalizing it rather than condemning it. Why does this keep happening? More importantly, why does it feel like we aren’t doing anything to stop it?

Anti-transgender violence can extend beyond acts of physical violence; these people are often denied housing, employment, education and medical care.

I see this as fear of change.

I understand that traditions are hard to let go of. I understand that many people may feel that the loss of “traditional” values can be threatening.

But, I don’t understand why this is an excuse to take out micro-aggressions on someone who is just going about their day. How can violent acts be justified if they were never warranted by the other party in the first place?

I think the first thing that we as a society can improve upon is our language. The way we speak about others needs to change. There are some terms that are politically incorrect and hurtful.

We must think about the connotation of the words that we are using to describe others.

The associations to these words are extremely negative. How would you feel if someone used a word just to hurt you and make themselves feel superior?

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, think of all the lives that were lost in unnecessary acts of violence.

You can participate in the Transgender Day of Remembrance by attending or hosting a vigil to honor lives lost to anti-transgender violence.