Transgenders belong to 1% of the world’s population and yet, every 72 hours, one transgender is beaten up, harassed and even tortured to death.
This year has become an epidemic of fatal violence towards transgender community, bringing its fatality rate higher than ever.
Why are transgenders being murdered?
With the growing LGBTQ visibility in the mainstream media this year, more people feel the urge to come out, thus, opening up doors to meet someone and build personal relationships that generates the foundation of acceptance. But the heightened visibility among transgenders put them at higher risk. Segments of society provoked an epidemic of transphobic violence that imperil the lives of all transgenders.
Most transgenders belong to a community who are socially, economically, and educationally marginalized, which has the higher rates of unemployment, poverty, and violence that some has pushed themselves to enter the dangerous trade of sex and addiction. The difficulty of acceptance among people who lack the capacity to accept transgenders as part of our society, is, in fact, leading to violence and murder.
Aside from transphobia, the racism has been the one that caused a greater risk for transgender women of color.
Tamara Dominguez, 36, Hispanic, was marked as the 17th reported murder of a transgender woman this year. Dominguez was repeatedly run over by an SUV on August 15. Her death follows the murders of an African American trans-women. Elisha Walker, whose body was found in a ‘crude grave’ in North Carolina; Shade Schuler, whose body was found in Dallas Field; Amber Monroe who was shot and killed in Detroit Park; and Kandis Capri who was shot dead in Phoenix, Arizona.
In Asia, the most recent notable transgender killing was in 2014. The murder of Jennifer Laude occurred in October 11, 2014 in Olongapo, Philippines, who was allegedly strangled to death by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. The trial of this case is currently ongoing in the Philippines.
Mary Jo Anonuevo was also strangled and stabbed 33 times in the bar she owned in Lucena City, Philippines on October 21, 2014.
Keeta Bakhsh was beaten to death by a police officer on 23rd of October of 2014 in Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
This 2015, 17 reported murders among transgenders were from the USA. The number of reported murders has skyrocketed despite the wide campaign of acceptance among the LGBTQ community. The more heightened the visibility, the more vulnerable they are to peril. The total count of murdered transgenders all over the world is not always numerated, but these reported murders show how fast the killings have progressed over the years.
Can we stop the violence?
Our race and gender may have divided, us but we are part of the same humanity. It is our sole responsibility to stop this violence. One has no right to kill, harm or abuse anyone in regards to faith, race or gender. What our society needs is better education and community based programs designed to spread the knowledge about transgenders.
The truth is, the society in general has lost strong hearted individuals. Most of them are young people who have just started to build their lives. Doing something as simple as supporting LGBTQ programs on our local governments, we can help stop transgender killings.