NCAVP mourns the homicide of Alphonza Watson, a Black transgender woman killed in Baltimore, Maryland

This is the 8th reported killing of a transgender person of color NCAVP has responded to in 2017.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Alphonza Watson, a Black transgender woman, killed in Baltimore, Maryland on March 22nd, 2017. According to media reports, she was shot to death in the early morning hours and two men were witnessed fleeing the scene. Alphonza’s mother, Peggy Watson, called her the “the sunshine of our family” and talked about her daughter’s love of cooking and gardening. “She was a very caring, passionate, fun person to be around, always in a talkative and playful mood,” her mother remembered.

“We send our love and thoughts to the friends, family and loved ones of Alphonza Watson,” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “These homicides are happening within the context of a presidential administration that is hostile to transgender people and while religious exemption and bathroom access legislation are sweeping the nation. We must resist an administration and lawmakers who seek to legislate hate and discrimination and we must be louder and bolder than ever in our support for our transgender communities, friends and family members.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact: Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

AVP Learns of Anti-Gay Vandalism Incidents in Astoria, Queens

AVP has learned of several incidents of anti-gay vandalism which occurred this past week in Astoria, Queens. According to media reports, the office building that was targeted houses two Democratic local lawmakers: New York State Senator Michael Gianaris and New York State Assemblyperson Aravella Simotas. The graffiti was anti-Obama and used anti-gay slurs.
AVP has reached out to the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, New York State Assemblyperson Aravella Simotas, New York City Councilmember Costa Constantinides, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

• Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
• Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
• Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
• Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
• Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
• Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
• Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

AVP will be doing outreach in Astoria in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

SUPPORT AVP’S WORK TO MAKE THE CITY SAFER FOR LGBTQ AND HIV-AFFECTED NEW YORKERS

Get regular updates on our ongoing work on Facebook or Twitter, and get involved and make a difference.

AVP Learns of an Anti-transgender Hate Violence Incident in Jackson Heights, Queens

AVP has learned of an anti-transgender hate violence incident which occurred in Jackson Heights, Queens outside the McDonald’s on 82nd Street, near Roosevelt Avenue, on Friday afternoon, March, 17th, 2017. According to media reports, a resident of Long Island, who has since been arrested and charged with a hate crime, physically and verbally attacked two transgender woman as they tried to enter the McDonald’s.

AVP has reached out to Make the Road New York, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember Julissa Fererras-Copeland, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

• Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
• Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
• Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
• Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
• Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
• Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
• Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

AVP will be doing outreach in Jackson Heights in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

SUPPORT AVP’S WORK TO MAKE THE CITY SAFER FOR LGBTQ AND HIV-AFFECTED NEW YORKERS

Get regular updates on our ongoing work on Facebook or Twitter, and get involved and make a difference.

AVP Learns of an Anti-Gay Attack in Midtown, Manhattan

AVP has learned of an anti-gay attack which occurred on Sunday morning, March 12th, 2017 outside of Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan. According to media reports, the survivor, who identifies as gay, was verbally and physically assaulted by a stranger who also threatened to kill him. An arrest was made in connection to this assault.

AVP has reached out to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP
We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

• Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
• Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
• Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
• Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
• Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
• Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
• Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

AVP will be doing outreach in Midtown in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

SUPPORT AVP’S WORK TO MAKE THE CITY SAFER FOR LGBTQ AND HIV-AFFECTED NEW YORKERS

Get regular updates on our ongoing work on Facebook or Twitter, and get involved and make a difference.

A Message From the Executive Director: United Against Hate

Dear Friends,

I am writing to tell you about an important national initiative launching today that AVP is proud to be a part of, Communities Against Hate.

In the wake of the 2016 election, there has been a surge of incidents of hate violence reported across the country against LGBTQ people as well as Muslims, immigrants, people of color, and more. Safe spaces in our community such as LGBTQ and Jewish community centers as well as churches and schools have been threatened and vandalized. So many of us across our country have been and continue to be affected by this violence.

At AVP, central to our core values and mission, is the belief that no one should be targeted for violence because of their race, gender, gender identity, religion, nation of origin, immigration status or any other identity or characteristics. We also believe that we must stand together against violence regardless of who is being targeted. We must speak out against hate and bigotry when we see it and document incidents of hate whenever they arise.

Through the Communities Against Hate Initiative, we are joining other social justice organizations – including Leadership Conference Education Fund, Muslim Advocates, Transgender Law Center, Hollaback, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Color of Change – to document hate violence, share data across communities, and map a full picture of hate incidents in the United States. Collectively, we aim to protect the rights of communities that are most vulnerable; increase services, change policy and promote a restorative justice approach to addressing incidents of hate.

AVP has been tracking violence against LGBTQ people for over 30 years, and we are thrilled to bring our expertise and experience to the Communities Against Hate Initiative. We believe this important data will help inform and empower all of us to stand up against hate-based violence and the racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia and other forms of bias and oppression in which this violence is rooted. This initiative is a model for the creative, collaborative and intersectional work we must do now, more than ever.

What can you do? Help us collect data on hate violence incidents, raise awareness, and educate the public on the prevalence of hate. Share your story if you experience anti-LGBTQ violence. Report incidents of LGBTQ hate violence in your neighborhoods and communities. Share incidents of LGBTQ hate violence that you read about in your local newspapers, and report other forms of hate violence such as anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, anti-Black and anti-disability that you experience or witness.

Please note, that the Communities Against Hate platform will not immediately connect you with an AVP service provider. If you have witnessed or experienced violence and need to reach an AVP counselor or access immediate support, please call AVP’s 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) Hotline: 212-714-1141.

We must be united. We must report violence in our communities. We must never normalize hate. AVP is here for you and we are all in this together. Please consider making a donation today to help support this project and all of AVP’s vital work.

Until we are all safe and free,

Beverly Tillery

Executive Director

NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Jaquarrius Holland, a Black Transgender Woman Killed in Monroe, Louisiana; the 7th Reported Killing of A Transgender Person of Color NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Jaquarrius Holland, a Black transgender woman, killed in Monroe, Louisiana on February 19th, 2017. Her homicide is only coming to light now, due to local press misgendering the victim. According to media reports, Jaquarrius was shot during a verbal altercation with someone who then fled the scene. Jaquarrius was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. News of Jaquarrius’ death comes after two homicides of two transgender women, Chyna Gibson and Ciara McElveen, were reported this week in New Orleans, Louisiana. Friends shared memories and stories about Jaquarrius online, many using the hashtag #PrettyBrown, which she used to refer to herself.

“We send our love and thoughts to everyone affected by the death of Jaquarrius Holland,” said Beverly Tillery, Executive Director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “As of today, NCAVP has already responded to seven homicides of transgender women of color within the first two months of the year. As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives. The moment to act is now.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Ciara McElveen, a Black Transgender Woman Killed in New Orleans, Louisiana; the 6th Reported Killing of a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Ciara McElveen, a Black transgender woman, killed in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 27th, 2017. According to media reports, Ciara was found stabbed to death in the 7th Ward. Local media reports originally misgendered Ciara but local advocates and those who knew Ciara worked to correct press accounts. Ciara’s homicide comes only two days after another Black transgender woman, Chyna Gibson, was shot and killed in New Orleans on February 25, 2017. Local transgender activist Syria Sinclaire spoke out about these recent homicides saying “We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public if they don’t approve.”

BreakOUT!, an NCAVP member organization in New Orleans, issued a statement, addressing both homicides, saying: “BreakOUT! is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Ciara McElveen and Chyna Dupree, two Black transgender women murdered in New Orleans in less than 36 hours…we have so much other work to do in our communities- we need jobs, housing, education, and access to safe spaces – and yet we continue to have to simply fight for our lives.”

“We are heartbroken for the city of New Orleans, and we send our love and thoughts to the communities who have endured the loss of two members within the space of two days.” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “NCAVP has already responded to more homicides of transgender people in 2017 than we did at this time last year, and the current political context is far more challenging. As we face an administration which devalues the safety and rights of transgender people and people of color, we must work tirelessly to support transgender friends, family, and community members.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Chyna Gibson, a Black Transgender Woman Killed in New Orleans, Louisiana; the 5th Reported Killing of a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Chyna Gibson, also known by her performing name, Chyna Doll Dupree, a Black transgender woman, killed in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 25, 2017. According to media reports, Chyna, a New Orleans native, was visiting for Mardi Gras and to see her family when she was shot and killed outside of a shopping center. Chyna was a well known and loved performer who toured the country. Following her homicide, there was an outpouring of support and memories of Chyna online. One friend said of Chyna: “My heart breaks as this community must find a way to honor you in death and begin to move forward. The stage will never be the same!”

BreakOUT!, an NCAVP member organization in New Orleans, issued the following statement on Chyna’s homicide: “BreakOUT! is deeply saddened to hear the news of yet another trans woman of color murdered at the same time Penny Proud was killed last year. We are holding healing space for trans and gender non-conforming members while also strategizing ways to keep all trans people safe from both state and street level violence. We continue to assert that we need trans spaces, education, housing, and jobs to keep us safe.”

“We send our thoughts and condolences to Chyna Gibson’s friends and loved ones,” said Shelby Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Chyna’s is the 5th homicide of a transgender person AVP has responded to in 2017 – all five have been transgender women of color: Black and Native. These homicides are occurring within a national context where the Trump administration is signaling that they will not protect transgender lives or the lives of people of color. We must not be silent, in fact we must be louder and more active than ever in our support for our transgender communities, friends and family members.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Keke Collier, a Black Transgender Woman Killed in Chicago, IL; the 4th Reported Killing of a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of Keke Collier, also known to friends as Tiara Richmond, a Black transgender woman, killed in Chicago, Illinois on February 22, 2017. She was shot to death while walking near her home. Keke’s homicide is the 4rd reported killing of a transgender/gender nonconforming person NCAVP has responded to in 2017. All four homicide victims have been transgender women of color. Local media reports continue to misgender Tiara, but LGBTQ media sources correctly identified Tiara thanks to advocacy from her friends and local community activists.

“We are heartbroken by yet another violent attack leading to the death of a young Transgender woman of color in our beloved community,” said Lisa Gilmore of Illinois Accountability Initiative. “The humanity and personhood of Transgender women needs to be recognized. As Trans women of color are among the most vulnerable in our communities and our nation, we all must be accountable for their safety and access to opportunities.”

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Keke Collier, and we send our thoughts and condolences to her friends and loved ones,” said Shelby Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “At a time when we are seeing the highest number of reports of homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people, the Trump administration is rolling back protections for transgender youth. This is totally unacceptable. We need to protect transgender lives at all stages, but especially in youth where they experience bullying, family rejection and violence that affects them throughout their lives.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online.

Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact: Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP Denounces the Trump Administration’s Lack of Support For Transgender Students

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which is made up of over 50 lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer (LGBTQ) advocacy groups across the country, denounces the Trump administration’s recent announcement to rescind protections put in place by the Obama administration for transgender students that had allowed them to use facilities, including bathrooms which correspond with their gender identity. This announcement sends a clear message that the Trump administration will not protect the rights of LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ youth, especially transgender youth, experience bullying and violence from their peers for their gender identity and expression and higher than average rates of homelessness as a result of family rejection. The actions of this administration only serve to increase these risks.

“Eradicating equal access guidance is tantamount to the violence of rejection and isolation. LGBTQ youth who felt supported and included in their schools were able to personally affirm their gender identity and/or sexual orientation; however, they are now faced with a crushing reality of being forced to endure federal discrimination, increased isolation, ridicule, and bullying,” said Aaron Eckhardt, Buckeye Region AntiViolence Organization (BRAVO) in Ohio. “Simply put LGBTQ youth, especially transgender youth, are being told by the Trump administration that they don’t deserve equal access and equal protection in school despite the fact they are legally required to be in attendance.”

We must understand this action as an attack of LGBTQ civil rights and one that will put all LGBTQ survivors at greater risk for violence, especially transgender students. Any claims that protections for transgender students are a threat to public safety and privacy must be resoundingly rejected. In May of 2016, NCAVP joined hundreds of organizations across the country to stand against HB2 in North Carolina. At that time more than 300 domestic and sexual violence organization signed onto a statement by the National Task Force to End Sexual Domestic Violence condemning these type of anti-trans initiatives, and noting that: “Those who are pushing these proposals have claimed that are necessary for public safety and to prevent sexual violence against women and children. As rape crisis centers, shelters, and other service providers who work each and every day to meet the needs of all survivors and reduce sexual assault and domestic violence throughout society, we speak from experience and expertise when we state that these claims are false.” We do the same today to ensure the rights of transgender students remain a priority throughout our country.

“In recent years so many people have become aware of the diverse needs of students so that all students have the opportunity to succeed academically,” said J Zirbel, at Rainbow Community Cares in North Carolina. “Addressing the needs of transgender students is an important part of that larger effort to promote the health and well-being of our communities and our country.”

It should be noted that regardless of the Trump administration’s most recent announcement, the law remains on transgender students’ side and school districts across the country are still legally obligated to comply with Title IX and protect transgender students.

“While the Trump administration has made it clear that they will not protect the rights of the LGBTQ community, particularly LGBTQ youth, we must make it equally clear that such actions will not be tolerated,” said Shelby Chestnut at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “NCAVP remains committed in solidarity against this and other attacks on our communities, from transgender students to undocumented survivors and Muslim refugees, our voice and outrage over this administration’s actions will not be silenced in the wake of this onslaught of hate.”

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of over 50 local members programs and affiliate organizations in 25 states, Canada, and Washington DC, who create systemic and social change. We strive to increase power, safety and resources through data analysis, policy advocacy, education, and technical assistance. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.