Today, as people gather in New York City to remember the one-year anniversary of the brutal murder of Islan Nettles, Michael Silverman, the Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, penned an op-ed for the New York Daily News that calls on justice to be served, not just for Islan, but for the many others who have faced violence around the country and the world.
For the transgender community — scarred by a long and difficult history of violence and an often uneasy relationship with law enforcement — the vacuum of information makes reasonable community members question whether or not resources are truly being directed towards this investigation.
After a year of claims about their commitment to justice, it’s time for officials to become more transparent about their investigation.
Transgender people, and transgender women of color in particular, face harassment and violence on a regular basis. All too often, crimes committed against them go unpunished.
But their lives matter. Islan Nettles’ life mattered. It mattered to her friends, to her family and to her community.
Every day, I work with many transgender women of color like Nettles who astound me with their strength and resilience in the face of widespread discrimination and violence and seeming indifference from authorities.
Transgender people are gaining more visibility, acceptance and legal protection every day. But violence remains a daily part of life. We must demand accountability from law enforcement and an end to anti-transgender violence and discrimination.