This is What Transphobia Looks Like
On the morning of Aug. 29, an off-duty Washington, DC Metro police officer fired five times into a car whose passengers included three transgender women. Three of the passengers were injured, one critically, in the second instance of anti-trans violence by an off duty DC Metro police officer in the past nine months.
The officer apparently solicited one of the women for sex, according to the Washington Blade, then harassed and pursued the group until crashing his vehicle into their car and firing upon them.
The past year has brought a chilling increase in anti-trans violence in the DC Metro area.
In May, soon after details of activist Autumn Sandeen’s treatment by Metro police came to light, a transgender woman filed suit for a 2003 civil rights violation and assault. And just weeks before that, in nearby Baltimore, Md., transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis was beaten in a McDonald's and filmed by a gleeful employee.
The community response by groups like the DC Trans Coalition and TransMaryland has been overwhelming in their showing of community rejection of the violence and a renewed call for support for LGBT people.
But the trend is continuing.
What’s currently happening in Washington, DC, is one example of something that is wide-spread and ongoing. Transphobia is real, and its consequences are often catastrophic. Studies show transgender people of color are at even greater risk of violence.
Fighting for justice and for the well-being of transgender people is as urgent now as it has ever been.
Sam Menefee-Libey is the LGBTQ Advocate with Campus Progress.