Social Issues

Grief a constant in lives of trans people in US

By Sara Soteras i Acosta

Washington, Dec 17 (EFE).- Attending funerals is a “big part” of being a transgender person in the United States, a trans woman identifying herself only as Tracy told EFE at an event in Washington to decry what activists describe as an epidemic of violence against their community.

At least 35 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been slain in the US in 2022, bringing the total for the last 10 years to more than 300, according to figures compiled by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the country’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.

“I am not as interested in trans visibility as I am in trans survival,” Tracy said, denouncing the “transphobic legislation” and political rhetoric that she sees as a cause of the violence.

She acknowledged that as a white, middle-class person, she is less at risk than many other trans people, as noted in the HRC report, “fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color.”

“I’m fairly new in my transition – three years – it’s not a lot of time,” Tracy said. “I know that just being trans, a big part of it is going to funerals and I have every expectation that that will be the case for me and I want to do what I can to make sure that number stays as low as possible.”

Savanna Wanzer, a Black transgender woman, told EFE at a ceremony in Washington honoring hate-crime victims that US politicians need to “get to work” to prevent the killing of LGBTQ+ people “just for being ourselves, living our truth.”

CAKE Society Co., a Washington-based not-for-profit, focuses on addressing the unmet day-to-day needs of transgender people, Executive Director Colton Gibbons says.

“We really try to serve people through health and fitness and wellness, so trying to think about what are the areas that people don’t traditionally think trans help looks like,” he tells EFE.

“So whether that’s doing athletic stuff, whether that’s participating in different types of self-defense classes, if it’s actually receiving gender-affirming products, we really try to fill in that gap that both insurance as well as other organizations don’t consider for trans health care,” he adds.

Alex Stitt, a non-binary author and mental health counselor, points to the tendency to stigmatize sexual minorities over problems that have more do with “socio-economic status and lack of upward mobility” than with gender or sexual orientation.

“To be transgender is not dangerous. To live in an intolerant society is,” he tells EFE. EFE ssia/dr

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