People who are transgender have faced discrimination for decades and continue to face horrible injustices in Missouri and all over the U.S.
Barring trans youth from playing sports and making laws regulating trans health care is one form of anti-trans discrimination in Missouri. However, something that often goes unnoticed is the violence that trans people, especially trans women of color, face.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there were around 44 incidents of violence that resulted in the deaths of transgender and gender-nonconforming people in 2020, a majority of the victims being Black and Latina women.
People who are trans are four times more likely to experience violence compared to their non-trans peers. Sadly, the number could be higher, as HRC also says that many incidents go unreported.
An HRC report details that anti-trans violence can stem from stigma trans people face and denial of opportunity. Lack of acceptance in their families and communities and a hostile political climate can lead to dehumanization of trans people.
In terms of a hostile political climate, laws and legislation that aim to discriminate against transgender people can lead to denial of opportunity. Laws denying trans people housing and health care can lead to homelessness and greater risk of violence.
However, the Supreme Court decided last year that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination in the workplace. This was another historical ruling for the LGBTQ community, the last historical ruling being Obergefell v. Hodges in 2016 that legalized same-sex marriage.
Slow strides have continued to be made to end discrimination against trans people, but for every step forward, this country takes 10 steps back.
In any issue of hatred and discrimination against certain groups, education and action to help those affected is key, especially if you aren’t a part of those groups.
Non-trans individuals, or cisgender people, need to keep speaking up. We need to stand up for trans people and create inclusive and accepting spaces for them to feel safe.
One thing cisgender people can do is educate themselves. Learning about trans people and the hate they face is important to recognizing and stopping that hate when it occurs. Having an understanding of who trans people are can also help us create accepting spaces for them to live as themselves. Some great resources are the Human Rights Campaign and the Trevor Project, which help trans and gender-nonconforming youth.
Write to your government officials to tell them to not support anti-trans legislation. Respect people’s identities and pronouns, and create accepting spaces.
Violence against transgender people, especially trans people of color, should not be normal, and our society and government haven’t done much to help prevent it. We can’t leave trans people to fend for themselves; we must actively be a part of the solution to ending anti-trans violence.