While most of what I've talked about derived from my own experiences, I think it would be remiss to not talk about our brothers and sisters in other minority communities. Some background: I've always been passionate about ending injustices across all groups and people, and though I don't like to partake in Oppression Olympics and determining who is worse off than whom, I have always been extremely sympathetic to the discrimination that many trans* folks face; in particular, the multifaceted discrimination faced by trans* people of color.
My first exposure to the issue was when I saw the movie, A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story, about a young woman who was brutally murdered after two men she had been intimate with found out she was pre-op. From the stereotype of Latino machismo that also tragically affects gay Latino men, to the ludicrous victim-blaming of the prosecutor who handled her case ("I don't think most jurors are going to think it's OK to engage someone in sexual activity knowing they assume you have one sexual anatomy when you don't," because slight deception = any degree of justification for murder), and to the equally ludicrous existence of the "gay panic defense," (which hopefully will soon be defunct) I realized that these problems were all intricately connected.
Oppression doesn't occur in a vacuum. And intersectionality is often ignored, as purported "allies" to social justice issues turn their backs on other oppressed communities. Often, unless these people have direct contact with some of these other groups, they don't understand how these communities can have their issues compounded.
Violence against people of color is too high; violence against transwomen is the same; and Violence against transwomen of color is horrifying:
NCAVP gathered data from anti-violence programs in 16 states and found that, while hate violence incidents have decreased, the overall number of hate murders of members of the LGBTQH community has increased by 11%. Of those murdered, 87% were people of color, showing an increase from 70% in 2010. Furthermore, people who identify as transgender were 28% more likely to experience physical violence than those who are gender normative, according to the media release about the report. -Alexandra Bolles, 2012 GLAAD intern
And coverage of trans* people in the news is often equally as horrifying. Take the case of Lorena, who died in a fire last year, and the problematic New York Times article about her that focused on salaciousness and "Other"ing of trans* people. Or the all-too-recent case of Diamond Williams, a transwoman of color killed in Philadelphia just a few weeks ago. Often times ignored by the mainstream press, when they are covered, pronouns are misused, unnecessary details added, and over all, result in an unfortunate atmosphere that denigrates trans* people even more.