Jun 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Black Trans Lives Matter" movement swells as Pride month meets protests

Protestors for Black Trans Lives Matter in Brooklyn on June 18. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Protesters for Black Trans Lives Matter in Brooklyn, June 18. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

The recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests and June's Pride Month celebrations are highlighting racism within the LGBTQ+ community, specifically toward Black transgender people.

Driving the news: Cities across the U.S., including Philadelphia, New York City and Providence, Rhode Island, have hosted "Black Trans Lives Matter" rallies this June. The demonstrations have called attention to the deaths of Black trans individuals, including 38-year-old Tony McDade, killed by Tallahassee, Florida, police just two days after George Floyd was killed.

  • Tallahassee police originally misgendered McDade in their report on his death.

By the numbers: The Human Rights Campaign reported at least 26 deaths of trans or gender-nonconforming people in the U.S. in 2018 due to fatal violence. Most were Black transgender women.

  • HRC later reported at least 22 trans or gender-nonconforming people were killed last year through November, marking the fifth straight year that more than 20 trans or gender-nonconforming people have died due to violence.
  • Year over year, Black trans women prove to be the most frequent targets.

Between the lines: White privilege still gives some members of the LGBTQ+ community an advantage compared to LGBTQ+ people of color — specifically Black trans folks.

  • Not all violence toward Black, transgender individuals is directly motivated by a person's gender identity or race, HRC notes.
  • 1 in 5 trans people in the U.S. has been discriminated against while searching for housing, per the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
  • NCTE also reports that more than 1 in 4 trans people have lost a job due to discrimination.

The Supreme Court this month ruled employment discrimination against transgender individuals to be unlawful.

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