The Loop 21, a news and opinion site geared towards African Americans, recently highlighted the stories of black transgender men. In “Becoming a (Trans) Black Man,” editorial director, Chloe Hilliard, writes about how courageous young black transgender men use social media to document their transition:
Social media sites have provided a ‘community’ for young transgender people. Among the small population that is finding its voice: black transgender men… Overlooked, the black trans community has succumbed to some startling statistics according to a recent study Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey Injustice.
Citing research from the study, Hilliard points out that 26 percent of Black transgender people are unemployed – twice the rate of all transgender people and four time that of the national rate. Forty one percent of black respondents said they had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, more than five times the rate of the general U.S. population. Black transgender people also lived in extreme poverty with 34 percent reporting a household income of less than $10,000 per year. Additionally, HIV affects the black transgender community in devastating numbers.
In an interview with Loop 21, Jabari Miller, a 23-year-old black transgender man who documents his journey on YouTube talks about how coming across the videos of other young trans men helped with his physical transition.
“When I found that the process was feasible I was doing research on YouTube like many do,” he tells Loop 21.
Dr. Kortney Ziegler (pictured), a trans filmmaker and creator of the documentary Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen, also talks to Loop 21 about navigating the world as a black man and the racial discrimination he now faces.
“It opened my eyes to so many levels of discrimination that I knew existed but I didn’t live,” he explains. “Now that I live in this body it really is disappointing and sad how black men are treated.”
Jabari offers a slightly different perspective. “It is hard to be a black man in America,” he acknowledges. “The only difference I see is in establishments I notice that people watch me a little more. On the other hand I feel as though I get a lot more respect. I think it’s been easier for me. It’s also been easier to make friends. I don’t know I guess I seem more approachable.”
Read the full article here.
GLAAD commends Loop 21 for elevating the voices of black transgender men. We encourage other media outlets to follow in their strong example. We also encourage our constituents to leave positive comments on the website.