"A Backlash Against Our Existence": Laverne Cox Speaks Out on Violence Against Trans Women of Color
At least 18 transgender people have been killed in the United States in 2019 — most of them trans women of color. Last year, there were at least 26 killings of transgender people. The American Medical Association has declared the wave of violence an “epidemic.” Laverne Cox, the award-winning transgender actress and longtime trans rights activist, says such violence has long been part of the lives of trans people. “For my entire life as a trans woman, for 21 years, I have been hearing about, witnessing, going to memorials [and] going to Trans Days of Remembrance,” she says. Cox says the violence reflects a society-wide backlash against the gains made by trans people and others in the LGBTQ community, including from the Trump administration. “Now we’re coming out of the shadows, and as we come out of the shadows, people want to force us back into the dark,” she says. Cox joined Democracy Now! ahead of Supreme Court hearings this week on whether federal nondiscrimination laws extend to LGBTQ people. She was joined in studio by Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
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