I was thrilled to hear according to the Washington Post that the House Equality Caucus will hold on Tuesday a violence against trans people forum in the run up to the November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The House Equality Caucus was founded in June 2008 by Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. (now Sen.) Tammy Baldwin along with Members of Congress who are strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for TBLG people in the US and abroad.
Today, the Caucus is co-chaired by the six openly LGBT Members of Congress Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO); Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI); Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY); Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI); Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA).
The Violence Against Trans People Forum is timely not only in the face of the looming TDOR date but us having 21 predominately Black and Latina trans people being killed in the US.
I hope that the House Equality Caucus will consider that fact, make this historic forum ethnically diverse and don’t repeat the mistake made in 2008, I am concerned that the upcoming forum will end up being a monoracial one despite the fact the people taking the brunt of the anti-trans violence casualties are trans people of color.
I’m also worried that geographic diversity of the forum participants will be overlooked because of our nation’s capital being easier to reach for people in the northeast US and East Coast and the people already living inside I-495 than the rest of us in ‘flyover country’.
While I love you peeps doing the trans human rights work on the coasts and in DC, our federal lawmakers really need to hear input from trans people who live in the South, Midwest and Rocky Mountain states as well. It is in these areas where we are still fighting tooth and nail transphobic state legislators and officials to get the laws and policies in place that you peeps on the coasts and cities like Chicago have enjoyed for decades.
We owe it to the people we have lost this year to ensure this Congressional Violence Against Trans Women Forum is the start of formulating federal government level policy solutions that fix the anti-trans violence problem negatively impacting Trans America.