30 Days of Action

…to Reduce Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-binary People

November 2015

For the past 18 years, November has been the month in which communities across the world mourn those who have died from anti-transgender hate-motivated violence. In 2015, thousands of trans people, allies, organizations, and media have been raising awareness of the injustices of each trans death, as soon as the information is available. Keeping a running count of these tragic losses has resulted in documenting a higher number of murders than we had in the past. It has also meant the trans community has been in a constant state of mourning and rage rather than gathering as a community on one day — November 20 — to grieve and raise awareness together. As a result of the frequent messages about trans murders, many trans people feel not only increasing fear for their own safety, but often a pervasive sense of hopelessness and helplessness, as well. We acknowledge this fear and know how paralyzing and painful it can be.

We also recognize that when communities experience social injustices and stigmatization, it is often difficult to join together to effect the change we want to see. Our anger often turns inward – towards ourselves or towards others in our community. All too often, communities begin to experience increased hostility and impose hierarchies on their own community, making it difficult, if not impossible, for people who have experienced violence or victimization to be heard, believed, and treated with compassion.

Violence is complex.

1. Murder is the most visible type of violence transgender people face. More than half of us are survivors of sexual violence, at least a third of us have experienced domestic violence, and we experience high rates of stalking, dating violence, bullying, and other types of violence (including suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injury).

2. Murders happen for different reasons. Some are clearly hate crimes, but the details of others suggest domestic or dating violence, crimes of opportunity (street robberies), fatal bar fights, etc. Suggesting that all trans murders are solely the result of transphobia or transmisogyny robs us of many opportunities to work to keep ourselves and each other safer.

3. Violence, like our lives, is intersectional and multidimensional. There is no single cause, no single solution. Instead, there are a myriad of actions we – both transgender and non-transgender people – can take to help ourselves and each other reduce risks, increase safety, and create a world with less violence.

We need to mourn our dead. And it is equally important to protect our living. FORGE’s #30DaysofAction will provide people with a lot of ideas, hope, and concrete action steps. Both together and as individuals, we have the power to reduce anti-trans violence.