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we are the 99%

In any case, if people are wondering why I have very little time and patience for white trans ppl (men, women, and enby alike), this is why.

Yes. We all experience gender-based violence and oppression. But some of us are more vulnerable. Some of us are dying.

I recently made the bold claim that 99% of global murders of trans ‘ppl’ were actually trans women (of colour). Is this true? Where did I get this number?

Well, it comes from TGEU’s Trans Respect vs Transphobia project. This particular number comes from their December 17, 2015 post on International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers:

December 17th is the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, research from the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide project shows that 1933 murders of trans people have been reported globally between 2008 and 2015.

99% of victims were trans women, 65% of victims with known occupation were sex workers.

Now, obviously here, it says just ‘trans women’ instead of trans women of colour. Perhaps the number is slightly lower when accounting for race but not by much. How did I jump to this conclusion? Based on their 2015 tdor post:

1,507 killings of trans people have been reported in Central and South America, which account for 78 % of the globally reported murders of trans people since January 2008. In this region, there has been the strongest increase in reports and with 23 countries Central and South America is the best documented region.

174 killings of trans people have been reported in Asia in 16 countries;

134 killings of trans people have been reported in North America;

104 killings of trans people have been reported in Europe in 15 countries;

9 killings of trans people have been reported in Africa in 4 countries;

5 killings of trans people have been reported in Oceania in 4 countries.

These are the global numbers for January 1st 2008 to September 30th 2015. The total is 1933. If you look at the data breakdown by country, you’ll see that Turkey accounts for almost half of the murders in Europe. Between the other, white-majority countries there are 61. Add in Australia and New Zealand (bc I didn’t check to see if the victims were white or not), and you get to 64 people who were mostly likely white.

What percentage is 64 out of 1933? O.03%. Let’s be generous and say that some of the victims in the US and Canada where also white. Could we get up to 1%? Maybe. Maybe if we also used the US’s bullshit category of ‘hispanic white’ then we could increase the numbers of white people. But… meh. Most likely the difference is actually made up by the people who aren’t trans women.

So… idk, 99% seems like a reasonable enough number. Of course, these are only reported deaths. But I doubt the situation would change much.

But for accuracy: 99% of the murders during this period were trans women and 99.7% were people of colour.

And since occupy wallstreet made it super popular, this is just another 99%. So people oppressed by racialized transmisogyny can also say, in this regards, that we are the 99%. Awesome.

Of course the above only accounts for gender and race. Note the sex worker thing (for the majority of murdered trans ppl the occupation is unknown – so please note the wording of that phrase). From the reports on murders in the US, we also note that domestic violence and/or intimate partner violence is a huge factor.

With these things in mind, I don’t even like to go around saying that I’m amongst the most vulnerable. Yes… I’m in the 99% but I have many factors that decrease my overall risk of being murdered: I live in Canada, I’m not a sex worker, and while I do date men I’m not in an abusive relationship. These aren’t all the factors but they are amongst the most important.

So yeah. Knowing the things that reduce my vulnerability, you can believe that I have very little patience for white trans ppl talking about this sort of thing in vague, general terms. As if there was equal risk for all of us. There isn’t.

Yes. We all experience gender-based violence and oppression. But some of us are more vulnerable. Some of us are dying.

As I have said repeatedly: me saying that I think we should centre and prioritize the most vulnerable does not invalidate whatever experiences you’ve had. None of us should be oppressed. But I’m not going to apologize for thinking that I (and quite a few others) need to take up less space.