ABC Nightline airs special edition with POSE’s Dominique Jackson focused on the epidemic of violence facing trans women of color

Yesterday, ABC’s Nightline aired a powerful special edition called “Am I Next? Trans and Targeted,” featuring in-depth reporting by co-anchor Juju Chang on the transgender community in the United States. The segment spotlights the dangerous trends of violence and discrimination that disproportionately affects trans women of color, as well as how media covers and portrays the trans community.

Trans actress and advocate Dominique Jackson, who stars in FX’s POSE, joined Juju Chang in studio, making her the first Black trans woman to present part of Nightline.

At a time when violence against trans women is often underreported, Nightline and Chang went beyond discussions of hate crimes, to give a voice to the friends, family, and other community members impacted by anti-transgender violence.

The special starts with the case of Muhlaysia Booker, as told by her close friends. Muhlaysia spoke up after being attacked in Dallas earlier this year by individuals who hurled transphobic slurs. Muhlaysia was tragically murdered only a couple weeks after her public statement.

“Muhlaysia was somebody's sister,” Jazmine Deamon told Nightline. “Muhlaysia was somebody's daughter… Somebody's loved one. Muhlaysia Booker was human. She wanted to live like everybody else.”

Muhlaysia is one of at least 19 known transgender people to be killed by hate violence in 2019, with 18 of the murders being trans women of color.

The Nightline segment also features Monica Roberts, a gifted writer and advocate in Texas. Through her site Transgriot, Monica works to ensure trans victims of violence are reported on fairly and accurately. She received a Special Recognition Award at the GLAAD Gala in San Francisco in 2016. Last year, Transgriot received the GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Blog category. It has been nominated in the category four times.  

Chang also interviewed local members of the trans community in Washington, D.C., including Ruby Corado, who helps countless local LGBTQ people and runs Casa Ruby, an organization that shelters and serves the community.

The Nightline segment also spotlights underreported hardships faced by too many trans individuals, such as higher rates of discrimination, unemployment, police brutality, poverty, and being on the receiving end of violence. 

Nightline has been nominated for eight GLAAD Media Awards, including a nomination at the 1st GLAAD Media Awards in 1990.