No Laughing Matter: Trans Women’s Deaths are Not a Joke

August 1, 2017

Last week, I got my life when New York Times best-selling author (and friend) Janet Mock appeared on The Breakfast Club. She discussed her most recent memoir, Surpassing Certainty, and gracefully shared her story of living as a bold, bad-ass Black trans woman—despite having to wade through invasive and problematic questioning by the hosts of the popular radio program.

Just a few days later, The Breakfast Club lived up to it’s tagline as “The World’s Most Dangerous Morning Show” via an appearance by Lil Duval. About six minutes into the interview, host Charlamagne tha God asked the comedian about President Donald Trump’s recent banning of transgender people from the military. (Why would that even come up?)

The conversation quickly devolved into a line of questions about how Duval would react if he encountered a trans woman. Duval responded with, “This might sound messed up and I don’t care, but she [is] dying.” He half-heartedly tried to backtrack while Envy held up Mock’s book cover asking about whether he finds her attractive. Duval proceeds to misgender her and prop up the trope that trans women are constantly deceiving cisgender heterosexual men.


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