TeeTee Dangerfield was fatally shot early Monday morning outside of a College Park apartment complex. She is the 16th trans woman of color we’ve lost in 2017. This is a state of emergency—trans women of color, particularly Black trans women, are being murdered at pandemic rates in America.
The devastating news of TeeTee’s untimely death comes just two days after an Atlanta rally and march in support of the transgender community in response to Trump’s July 26th tweets attempting to ban trans service members from serving in the US military. According to “The Georgia Voice,” TeeTee was shot several times before being taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where she passed away. The police say there are no suspects at this time, and they’re unsure if TeeTee’s gender identity was a factor in her murder.
Trans women of color live at an intersection of racism, sexism, transphobia, and femme-phobia. The violence of all these oppressions is acted out on their bodies in horrifying numbers—from homelessness to intimate partner violence to lack of resources for employment.
This violence has been exacerbated in the news recently, with comedian Duval remarking he would kill a partner if he discovered she was trans. He continues to stand by those statements even after Laverne Cox and Janet Mock have called him out on his behavior.
After taking several deep breaths I just got teary thinking about all my sisters experiencing violence, beaten, raped, murdered and some https://t.co/QyNXp11ysL
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 30, 2017
There are real life consequences when violent statements about trans people are made—these remarks empower bigots to act on their transphobic beliefs. Black trans women pay the ultimate price for this ignorance, apathy, and hatred. Men like Duval are actively undoing the amazing advocacy and awareness work trans women and allies are doing to educate the masses on trans issues and make a larger call for equality.
The reality of this world is harsh for trans women and we need to do better as a community in supporting our trans siblings. With our government making it abundantly clear that they do not support trans rights—it is up to the LGBTQ community to ensure that we stop this violence and take on the labor of educating more people to break their transphobia. You can take action today by supporting financially or through volunteering at the Trans Women of Color Collective.
Rest in power TeeTee.