2020 has been one of the worst years marked with so much loss and pain, but for the American transgender community, it has also been their most violent year yet. This year alone more than 37 transgender people have been violently killed — that we know of. This is alarming given that these are only a few of the violent deaths that have been officially reported, most of these cases are often mis-reported or unreported.
In his speech early today, President-Elect Biden vowed to protect the rights of the Transgender community. This is a welcomed change of events given how the incumbent government led by Trump has been going out of their way to strip the LGBTQ+ community their rights. Biden recognizes this issue for what it is: a matter of human rights. In his statement to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, Biden showed his unwavering support to the Transgender community:
Speaking on the alarming cases of murders of Black and Brown transgender women, Biden said, “It’s intolerable. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor their lives — and recommit to the work that remains to ensure that every transgender and gender-nonconforming person in America has the opportunity to live authentically, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity and respect in their communities and workplaces.”
He went on to further state that,“From the moment I am sworn in as President of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.” This is a clear sign that his government will be different from Trump’s administration and will take measure to make America safe for everyone — no matter their sexual orientation. It would be a great thing to actually see the Trans community being heard and having their issues protected.
It is extremely sad that 2020 has shaped up to be the deadliest in recent years for the transgender and gender non-conforming community. According to reports, the Black transgender women in the community are at a high risk of being killed — especially by people they know personally. This comes as a byproduct of a toxic combination of transphobia, racism and misogyny. We definitely need to do better as human beings and show more compassion and value for life. This epidemic of violence, which is particularly impacting transgender women of color, must and can be stopped. It is up to us to remember that these are not just sad headlines on some page of a newspaper or on our timelines. These were people, they had families that are currently drowning in grief over their senseless murders. They were someone’s child, parent, sibling, partner. They were people who wanted and deserved to live as they saw fit. They deserve better and we society need to do better not only for them but for future generations. Currently, these numbers are horrific enough, but they do not capture the full magnitude of the abuse perpetrated against many trans people on a daily basis due to lack of reporting. If we expect to do better, we need to learn to respect our differences.
To the family of the Transgender victims: we send our sincere condolences — but remember you are not alone in the path of justice. Your fight is our fight. We sincerely hope to do better and may the legacies of your loved ones live on. We will continue to honor them by fighting against transphobia. Now more than ever, we will continue to advocate for justice, support and protect the lives of those in the Trans community.
About the Author:
Christine Siamanta Kinori grew up in a little village in Kenya known as Loitoktok near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. All she wanted to do when she grew up was to explore the world. Her curiosity led her to join Nairobi University to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She later got a job with an amazing travel magazine Nomad Africa which gave her the opportunity to explore Africa. She also writes for numerous travel websites about Africa and tries to create a new narrative in the media about our aesthetic continent.
Christine claims to have somewhat unhealthy addiction to TV and reading, as it is a fun way to keep herself occupied during the long journeys for her travel writing. She is also a believer of letting people be their beautiful selves. To her, love is love and it is the greatest gift we have as humans.