Transgender Activists Respond To Attacks, Demand City Bolster Protections

Published July 14, 2017

Monroe Poston was just trying to buy drink. As she was walking into a D.C. convenience store around three o’clock in the afternoon on the Saturday before Easter, she was suddenly attacked by four men.

“I fought for my life that day, I literally felt like it was almost the end,” said Poston, a local trans activist, at a rally downtown last night. “We have to stop this violence amongst us for just being our authentic selves. All we do is mind our business and live our truth daily. [It] is a hard task being a black trans woman in Washington, D.C.”

Unfortunately, Poston’s experience is not unique. That’s why, braving the scorching heat and oppressive humidity last night, about 80 people rallied at Freedom Plaza and marched to the MPD headquarters to demand that the city do more to protect and support transgender residents. In the past few weeks there have been several violent attacks against trans people in D.C., including an incident where a trans woman was beaten with a metal baseball bat and burned with fireworks on July 2, and another who was intentionally struck by a car on July 5. Both women are still recovering. Nationally, at least 14 trans women have been murdered so far this year.

“We’ve seen, in the District, a rise in violence against trans women of color, and today we’re here to speak out against that violence,” said Lourdes Hunter, executive director of the TransWomen of Color Collective. “Trans women of color are disproportionately impacted by state sanctioned violence, which is inextricably linked to the brutality we face on the streets. If the mayor can find two million dollars for the Gay Games, surely there is money in this city to house and support the dreams of homeless trans youth.”

D.C. is one of three finalist cities to host the 2022 Gay Games, a sporting competition with the mission of promoting inclusivity and awareness of LGBTQ people.

Local LGBTQ activist coalition No Justice No Pride, which protested the inclusion of uniformed police and certain corporations at the Capital Pride parade last month, organized the event in response to these attacks and what they say is a history of marginalization in the District….read more here.

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