As violence against the trans community increases in our nation’s capital and adds onto the many forms of systemic discrimination trans people face, the DC Office of Human Rights is launching a campaign to promote respect and educate the public on these issues. Slated to launch in the late summer or early fall, it will be the country’s first government-funded campaign aimed specifically at stopping discrimination against people who are transgender, though the budget has not yet been determined.
PR Week recently covered this initiative and included several eye-opening facts about the treatment of LGBT people in DC and across the country:
- As of May of this year, 67% of all hate crimes in DC are committed against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
- This is an increase from 40% in 2011, according to the DC Center and Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence.
- In 2009 and 2010 respectively, 50% and 44% of LGBT people who were murdered in the United States were transgender women, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
Along with bringing light to how discrimination begets violence, the campaign will also focus on housing, employment, and healthcare biases and barriers that affect people who are trans. This will be done through traditional and social media outreach, including an ad campaign, and by communicating with direct-service providers for the trans community. The campaign will also target people who are non-gender identifying as well to educate them on laws that exist to protect them and where to file complaints if those laws are violated.
The campaign seeks to inform those who not have a good understanding of the trans community, according PR Week. The hope is to give voice to a community that often suffers in silence from systemic, violent, and personalized discrimination. An ad campaign will feature pictures of DC residents who are trans and quotes about their favorite thing about living in DC. Putting faces and personalities to the trans community, the ad campaign will humanize those who are frequently dehumanized by the media and the general public. The ads will ask viewers to “please show me respect by letting me be who I am,” “by treating me like other women you know,” or “by treating me like other men you know.”
If you have been the target of discrimination, please visit www.ohr.dc.gov or call (202) 727-4559.
Check out a sneak-preview of a sample ad and behind-the-scenes pictures from the photo shoots here: