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Statement by In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON — Today is International Transgender Visibility Day. Marcela Howell, president and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in support of trans and nonbinary people:
“In Our Own Voice has a message for transgender and nonbinary people — especially Black trans and nonbinary women: We see you; we stand with you; you belong! Too often treated as ‘other’ and targeted for discrimination and violence, all of us must rise up to support and embrace trans and nonbinary people — especially our Black sisters, brothers and siblings.
“Black trans women and people suffer multiple oppression, leading to horrendous disparities. One study by the National LGBTQ Task Force found that Black trans people have a 26% unemployment rate. The study also found other disparities, including ‘41% of Black trans people have been homeless (more than five times the general population), 34% of Black trans people have household incomes less than $10,000 (more than eight times the general population) and nearly half of the Black trans population has attempted suicide.’
“According to the Human Rights Campaign, trans women are four times more likely than cis-gender women to be murdered, noting that the majority of victims of violence are trans people of color, especially Black trans women. Being a Black trans woman is, literally, deadly. That is unacceptable and demands immediate action.
“We commend President Biden’s first-ever proclamation on International Transgender Day of Visibility and echo his call for Congress to take action. We demand that Congress pass the ‘Equality Act’ to provide federal civil rights protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Trans people are suffering and dying every day; that’s why Congress must act now!”
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national-state partnership focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national and regional levels in our fight to secure reproductive justice for all women, femmes and girls. Our eight strategic partners are Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc. SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.