The “epidemic of violence” that Black transgender women and other trans women of color (TWOC) face continues to be little more than a refrain in 2019. Whether peppered in speeches by elitist non-Black, cisgender executive directors at major organizations still basking in the afterglow of the passage of marriage equality, or used by presidential candidates vying for our community’s votes, the plight of TWOC is often tokenized, but never prioritized.
As we end another year of increased transmisogynoir — a term coined by social critic Trudy as the specific oppression of trans women and transfeminine people of color — it’s not enough to honor the women we’ve lost with platitudes, social media posts, or thoughts and prayers. Instead, we need the rest of the LGBTQ+ community and our allies to make a deep commitment to keeping us alive—specifically by trusting our leadership and our solutions. Here, we’ve identified a 13-step plan to ending the epidemic, crafted, in part, from the expertise of leading figures who do this work daily.