In this series, The more you know, the better you do, our summer intern Amber Byrd will look at different concepts that impact the fight for reproductive freedom in Ohio. Today, she looks at a topic near and dear to our mission: protecting Black trans lives.

What is it about?

Violence against Black transgender and gender nonconforming persons continues to rise.

In 2019, 27 known transgender persons were murdered. However, violent crimes against transgender people have always been underreported. The true death toll is likely higher.

In 2020 thus far, 26 transgender and gender nonconforming persons have been murdered by strangers, acquaintances or loved ones.

Why does it happen?

Black trans women possess various marginalized identities that shape the way the world views them.

They often lie at the intersection of racism, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia.

This violence is often the result of bigotry and transphobia.

Why should we care?

Black trans women have been at the forefront of social movements fighting for equality and equity.

For example, the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and the feminist movements by trans activist and icon in LGBTQIA+ history, Marsha P. Johnson.

The oppression of Black trans women, and the way it is often ignored, is a way of perpetuating the oppression of black people in America. All Black lives matter.

What can we do?

Perhaps the most important thing to do is educate those in our communities about trans rights. Black trans women matter and should be treated as such.

Those who perpetuate transphobia and violence against trans women in our communities must be held accountable. Not enough is done in this regard.

Write and provide testimony to your state and local legislators regarding equal rights and equal opportunities regarding trans persons.

Stand up for those in the LGBTQIA+ community by holding your friends and family accountable for making transphobic comments.

About the author

My name is Amber Byrd. I am a second-year doctoral student studying Sociology (Medical Sociology and Social Inequality) at Case Western Reserve University. I am a summer intern at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. I will be presenting a series of information about reproductive justice and issues facing the Black body. In the age of Black Lives Matter, it is important to understand the lasting effects of systemic racism and how it pertains to reproductive justice and reproductive health. I will present this information through a series of fact sheets that will be published once a week. I hope you will join me in learning more about this extremely important topic. It is important that we all work together to create a more equitable future for the current and future generations.

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