The eighth annual Trans Day of Action (TDOA), a march and rally, will take place on Friday, June 22 at 3 pm in Washington Square Park in New York.
Organized by the Audre Lorde Project, TDOA is an annual day of action in which trans and gender non-confirming (TGNC) people of color and their allies march to “continue fighting for justice, raising [their] voices until [they] are heard, and to build[ing] contingents to march in solidarity together.” GLAAD has been proud to support TDOA and the Audre Lorde Project in previous years, and this Friday we look forward to again marching in unity with the many community supporters.
TDOA is necessary as trans voices far too often are silenced in the media, despite experiencing discrimination at disproportionate rates. According to the 2011 National Hate Violence Report and the Injustice at Every Turn report, hate-violence against trans women of color is at an all-time high as wll as overall discrimination in education, employment and in the penal system.
Just recently, CeCe McDonald, a victim of transphobic violence, was sentenced to 41 months in a male facility prison after defending herself in a transphobic attack. The New York Times published a sensationalized and insensitive article about the death of Lorena Escelara. And just last week, Lorena’s friend, Carmen Carrera, of Ru Paul’s Drag Race was subjected to transphobic jokes on TLC’s Cake Boss.
Earlier this month, The Daily Beast brought these issues, illustrative cases, and the media’s general disregard for them to light in a post by Jay Michaelson entitled “Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women”. They reference the plight of CeCe McDonald, Paige Clay and Brandy Martell.
To help bring even more visibility to these issues, GLAAD has partnered with the CeCe Support Committee, Trans Youth Support Network and Trans People of Color Coalition to ask the media, LGBT community members and allies to continue to bring visibility to the everyday, harsh realities that TGNC people face. CeCe McDonald is only one of the many who have been victimized, but she represents a growing need for us to do more. To find out how you can become more involved, write a letter and Take Action in support of CeCe and other trans persons like herself, please visit www.glaad.org/supportcece for more information.
On Friday, everyone will come together and march for the entire trans community. TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project has initiated Points of Unity for why it is imperative to march for Trans Day of Action. Some include:
“We demand justice for the many TGNC POC who have been beaten, assaulted, raped, and murdered.”
“These incidents continue to be silenced or misclassified…The police and the media continue to criminalize us even when we try to defend ourselves. Hate crime laws will not solve the problem but will give increased power to the state to put more people in jail. Instead we call for a unified effort for all of us to look deeper into the root causes of why these incidents happen. In striving for social justice we seek to find ways of holding people accountable and coming to a joint understanding of how we can make our communities safer.”
“We are in solidarity with all prisoners, especially the many TGNC POC people behind the walls.”
“We recognize that TGNC POC people need access to services and facilities that lessen our vulnerability to violence within the present jails and prisons. We call attention to the criminal injustice system that increasingly puts POC, immigrants, people with disabilities, TGNC POC and poor people behind bars - criminalizing our communities and our lives.”
Additional Points of Unity call for demands for respect, justice and equal access for the trans community.
It is clear that we must continue to fight for fair and accurate inclusion of trans and gender non-conforming people. The media has historically ignored trans identity or just simply marginalized it even further—but, words and images do matter, and this is why the march is so symbolic of a greater need.
Come in solidarity and join the many supporters for Trans Day of Action. Bring your fellow activists, your contingents and demand justice and fair and equitable representation of theTGNC community.
For more information visit: www.glaad.org/events/tdoa2012