For trans* people, violence is a pressing reality. I have a friend in medical school in San Diego who called me last year after attending a lecture on trans* health. The guest speaker, a physician who works almost exclusively with trans* persons, explained that he wasn't able to retain his patients. "It's not because they're dying from disease," he said. "It's because they're being murdered." In a 2011 report on trans* discrimination, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found disturbing rates of harassment of trans* and gender-nonconforming persons, with 78 percent of their 6,450 participants reporting being a victim at least once. For trans* women of color, particularly African Americans, the discrimination was most severe.
GLAAD's Todd Clayton shares his experience of discovering his own privilege through relationships with transgender people.