The Dangers Transgender Women of Color Meet in Their Lives

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Heteronormativity is a set of cultural norms and particular standards that puts people into a distinct category where they believe that the only two genders are male and female and that they compliment each other. It aims at making straight identities the societal norm and doesn't see it any other which ultimately creates a problem for those that don't fit the standard. When it comes to heteronormativity it illuminates what we expect from both men and women in which it propagates a system where all are expected to follow those behaviors accordingly otherwise you are looked at differently. This goes for the LGBTQI community or those who don't meet the standards because they disrupt heteronormativity by not following the script and in return are criticized harshly for it. Those who fall outside of the norm based on their sexual preference face a heavy breach when it comes to sexual norms, structures and identities.

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In the article “18 Transgender Killings This Year Raise Fears of an Epidemic” by Rick Rojas and Vanessa Swales it talks about the dangers of being a transgender women of color and the awful things they have to face. Many of these women are victims of physical attacks and violence from those outside of this group stemming from hostility as well as a rise in visibility stirring animosity. Adrienne Rich who is indeed an advocate for rights of the LGBTQI community which includes transgender women of color talks about the lack of transgender rights in society as well as the United States law. She argues that trans women of color are at the bottom of the sexual value hierarchy and says that their “experience is perceived on a scale ranging from deviant to abhorrent, or simply rendered invisible”(Rich,1980). Overall there is a negative connotation that follows this specific group which makes them more prone to physical harm and societal ostracization. As for trans women of color they have to deal with a culture of violence where they are targets due to an anti- transgender sigma and increased risk factors.

Transgender women of color, who are situated at the bottom of the gender/LGBTQI+ hierarchy, are much more susceptible to physical violence and social ostracization and a major factor in this is race and class. This has to do with intersectionality which are all types of advantages or disadvantages that certain races and genders are automatically given at birth which prevents everyone from being equal. In the case of transgender women of color a quote that truly depicts why they are a target from the article “It's All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Nation” by Patricia Hill Collins is “racial ideologies that portray people of color as intellectually underdeveloped” (Collins). Transgender women of color are degegraded so with that comes things like the rape culture and physicsl abuse becoming normalized making them more prone to such horrific acts than other groups are.

Although the LGBT community has taken major strides and has gained positive societal attitudes it doesn’t take away the fact that there is an increase in violence against Black trans women in the US. This is linked to homonationalism which is the favorable association between a nationalist ideology and LGBT people or their rights. In the article “Mapping US Homonormativities” Jasbir K. Puar explains that there are many deployments of US homonationalism that bolster the nation with one being “it reitartates heterosexuality as the norm”(Puar,2006). The problem is that with the acceptance of the LGBTQ community comes the unacceptance of those that are unwilling to change. Many people don’t understand the black trans women in the US, leading them to commit horrific acts of violence that these women don’t deserve. Many of these cases that seem to happen to the transender community and especally those thaat are colored seems to be stemmed from an obvious anti-transgender bias.

These women are clear victims and while they have to take physical abuse they are also affectd in ways like survival sex work or unemployment. The major problem lies with the number of deaths beig that there was a total of 18 transgender killings in the year 2019 and that number must change because it is unnecaptable.

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