Laverne Cox talks deadly violence against black transgender women

Actress and activist, Laverne Cox discussed violence against black transgender women during an interview with BuzzFeed News.

What We Know:

  • She said, “As we celebrate Pride, and there are so many things to celebrate, we also have to remember that there’s so much work that needs to be done,” during the interview. She was likely referring to the recent setbacks the transgender community has faced like the Trump administration’s transgender military ban and increased violence against transgender women of color.
  • The Human Rights Campaign reported 26 transgender people were violently murdered by acquaintances, partners and strangers last year. The majority of the victims were transgender women of color. The report cited anti-transgender bias, unemployment, homelessness and survival sex work as motivation for the killings.
  • According to GLAAD, trans women of color have a life expectancy of 35 years of age in America. This is horrifying, considering the average life expectancy of a cisgender person is about 78 years.
  • At one point in the interview, Cox spoke directly to men who attack transgender women saying, “Your attraction to me as a trans woman is not a reason to kill me.”
  • In 2019, Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears and Brooklyn Lindsey, 11 black transgender women, were killed.
  • Cox made a point to acknowledge the positive things happening in the trans community as well as the frequent tragedies. She said, “I try to be in a ‘both and’ place, in the place of celebrating Indya Moore for being on the cover of Elle magazine or Janet Mock having this landmark deal at Netflix… but then also acknowledging, and particularly for black trans women, that their lives are being taken away from them simply for being who they are.”

Laverne Cox is a long-time activist who has been speaking on this issue for years. I hope her message was heard this time.