Assault is an everyday fear for those who identify as trans and in order to help them, we need to look deeper into the issue. Sexual assault happens because the perpetrator wants to have power over the victim and trans people are disproportionality the victims.
Sexual assault is something that that has been talked about for generations, but for some reason, transgender people have been left out of the discussion. Even though a harrowing 50% of people who died in hate crimes were transgender women. Sexual assault was also a common occurrence in those crimes, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.
By ignoring the importance of this exclusion, we are ignoring the importance of trans lives. This kind of ignorance is leading to more and more people denying the struggles of the transgender community’s goal of acceptance.
I remember learning about sexual assault at a very
young age, but not learning about trans people until about high school. Times have changed since then though, more activists (like Laverne Cox) have come into the spotlight and more trans people are being represented in media. Being trans is not as taboo as it once was. Though, this is a positive direction, there are still many who deny the importance transgender people. Those who come out, do so because they want to be themselves, but the dangers present in society are probably part of what’s stopping them.
The violence against transgender people needs to stop and we need to make strides in creating safe spaces for them. I know that sounds cliché at this point in time, but it’s important to have them when most of the world is a possible threat. If you see a trans person being harassed, do something. You could be what stands in the way of an assault.
We need to stand up for our trans brothers and sisters, especially now (considering who our president is), to ensure their safety and to encourage more people to come out and be who they are meant to be.