About #30DaysOfAction 2020

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For the past 21 years, November has been the month in which communities across the world mourn those who have died from anti-transgender hate-motivated violence. 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.

This year, our culture – both trans and mainstream – has become more acutely aware of the intersections of violence, identity, and systemic and interpersonal dynamics that contribute to this devastating harm. Awareness of these confluences also gives rise to more awareness of potential solutions and resolutions. 

Our immediate access to news through social media channels, has heightened our awareness of each tragic loss.  The death counts, on top of the numerous other injustices of racism, police misconduct, systemic violence, sexism, poverty, homelessness, bullying (in schools and by civic leaders), anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, ageism, rollbacks in legal protections, and increases in the rates of intimate partner violence…. All of this can feel overwhelming. 

It can feel like we in the trans community are in a constant state of mourning and rage.  The reality of our current world and our internal reactions to the events we learn about means that many of us are fearing for not only their own safety, but often feel 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. It is especially difficult this year, as we physically distance from each other due to COVID-19.  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, 30-50% of us have experienced intimate partner violence, and far too many of us have experienced high rates of stalking, dating violence, bullying, workplace harassment, and other types of violence (including suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injury).

2. Murders happen for different reasons. 

Some anti-transgender homicides are clearly hate crimes due to gender identity or expression, but the details of others suggest domestic or dating violence, crimes of opportunity (street robberies or other non-targeted homicide), systemic violence against people based on race, religion, education, occupation, or other factors (including deaths in 2020 from police violence).

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.  It also diverts our attention from addressing the greater systemic issues that perpetuate violence in our country.

3. Violence, like our lives, is intersectional and multidimensional. 

There is no single cause; and no single solution. Instead, there are 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 ideas, hope, and concrete action steps. Both together and as individuals, we have the power to reduce anti-trans violence.

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