Trans women are violated at an alarming rate in Philadelphia and across the nation.
Early Saturday, March 20, several Philadelphia police officers responded to reports of a fight. Upon their arrival, a bloody woman in torn clothes fell at their feet. This woman was the victim of attempted sexual assault and multiple stab wounds. She was rushed to hospital with these critical injuries.
Trans women in Philadelphia are suffering from an “epidemic of violence,” according to the authorities. That statement was made after the events of September last year when a 29-year-old black trans woman named Mia Green was shot in the neck. Her body was found in the passenger seat of her alleged killer’s vehicle when it was stopped for driving through a stop sign. Police escorted the driver to the hospital, where Green was pronounced dead.
Months before these events, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, another colored trans woman, was murdered. Her body was found dismembered in the Schuylkill River. Both State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta and Mayor Kenney acknowledged Rem’mie’s death for the tragedy, while many others in the city took to the streets to protest violence against LGBTQIA +.
This violence in Philadelphia is the same violence that many transsexuals across the country face on a daily basis. Trans-colored people in particular are one of the most discriminated groups in the country. In the US, black transgender people were registered with an extremely high unemployment rate of 26%. This percentage is twice the rate of the total transgender sample and four times the rate of the general population. In addition, 41% of black trans respondents in the same study said they had become homeless at some point in their lives. more than five times the general US population. Amazingly, 49% of all Black Trans respondents had attempted suicide at some point in their life.
Statistics like these show exactly what was recently recognized in Philadelphia: trans people are dying at an alarming rate. Skin color trans women are particularly at risk as statistics show they have an average life expectancy of 30-35 years. All transsexuals are deprived of opportunities and necessities in most of the rooms. Hate crimes against transgender people are some of the most common types of these crimes, but also some of the least exposed in the media.
Many Philadelphians have been encouraged to speak out against this epidemic of anti-trans violence by city officials as well as leaders like Mayor Kenney. However, it is likely that Philadelphia and the nation will continue to mourn the tragic deaths of their trans community members unless genuine efforts are made to protect and cherish trans lives.
To support trans women in Philadelphia, visit the Trans Justice Funding Project online at transjusticefundingproject.org.
Sources: NBC, NBC Philadelphia, Philly Voice