In 1969, trans New Yorkers of color led an uprising that would go on to change the lives of millions of LGBT people. But 50 years later, trans women of color have gained the least from the LGBT rights movement, and remain among the most vulnerable groups in New York City.
The city recently announced monuments to trans activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. But commemorations aren’t enough. Trans people still face pervasive harassment, discrimination, and violence in schools, at work, in daily life, and from the police.
In January, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the NYPD on behalf of Linda Dominguez, a trans Latina who was harassed by police officers and charged with “false personation.” Even though the NYPD prohibits that behavior in their policies, the City’s own Department of Investigation has concluded that officers do not follow those guidelines. Just last week, Layleen Polanco, also a trans woman of color, was found dead in a solitary cell at Rikers. Her family still does not know how she died.
Mayor Bill de Blasio