black-trans-SW-lives-matterWhen I wrote about the Daniel Holtzclaw case for TitsandSass  I was happy the piece was generally well received, but sadly there have been ignorant people who felt that including instances where Black trans women were violated somehow detracted from the article. Those people are assholes.

It would seem that some felt that speaking about how criminalizing Black bodies affects Trans women is somehow diminishing the struggles of cis Black women. I want to make it very clear that when I say Black women I mean ALL BLACK WOMEN. Black Trans women, Black women who engage in sex work, Black women who have been arrested, Black women who use drugs are all mentioned in that article because they are Black women who matter.

That being said you cannot talk about the over policing of Black communities and how it affects  Black sex workers while leaving Trans women out.  Black trans women feel the brunt of this stigma.  Its transphobic – point blank, no excuses.

One American study of transgender adults found that approximately 50% of respondents were survivors of violence or abuse,(28) and another found that 25% of transgender respondents had experienced hate-motivated physical/sexual assault or attempted assault. 29 In a recent survey of transgender people and loved ones in BC (n=179), 26% reported needing anti-violence services at some point in their life. In examining reports of hate crimes against transgender people, researchers found that 98% of all “transgender” violence was perpetrated specifically against people in the male to-female spectrum; (30) of the 38 murders of transgender people reported internationally in 2003, 70% were women of colour. (31)

To exclude Black Trans women from this article would be violence. It would perpetuate the silence that breeds violence against them and makes them targets. It hurts my soul to see cis Black women who know how gut-wrenching it is have White and NBWOC discount our struggle as women to turn around and do the same thing to our Black trans sisters who are MORE AT RISK than we cis women are.

Just as White women had realize that women’s rights struggle wasn’t something that was theirs to invite Black women, Cis women need to understand that womens’ struggle isn’t something we own exclusively to exclude trans / Queer/ non-binary femmes from.

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Author: N'jaila

N'jaila Rhee grew up in north New Jersey and graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communication media from Rutgers University in 2009. Rhee began exotic dancing while attended classes at Rutgers, and still dances at special events. Currently working professionally in media in the NYC metro area, she enjoys writing erotica, eating Nilla wafers and giggling at the word "balls".