Tomorrow is Trans Day of Visibility and the last day of Women's History Month. This year, in response to the new administration, we saw the resurgence of a mainstream feminist movement that historically has not granted visibility to the struggles or activism of women on the margins — specifically women of color, poor women, and trans women. Yet in the current political climate, we can’t afford to not be intersectional in our demands especially when it comes to securing basic rights - such as safe and affordable housing - that is vital to the of liberation of all women. To ensure housing becomes a human right for everyone, we must center the struggles and meet the housing needs of trans women of color who are disproportionately impacted by evictions, gentrification, and housing insecurity.
According to one of the largest surveys
of the trans community in the United States by the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender people do not know where they will be sleeping tonight. Research shows Black transgender men and women face multiple forms of discrimination when it comes to securing a dignified home. While in July 2010, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a guidance to treat gender identity discrimination as gender discrimination under the Fair Housing Act HUD, still over 40 percent
of trans people have faced illegal discrimination displacing them from their home.
For the trans community, housing insecurity is not only tied to other forms of discrimination such as employment bias and lack of access to adequate medical care, but also to escalating violence. In the past year, several trans women of color have been murdered
and the lack of safe, affordable housing is an inextricable factor in the growing rate of trans murders. In the Bay Area, we need to take our cues on how to organize a regional housing justice movement from those who know first-hand how integral a dignified home is to basic survival.
We must support the many local Bay Area organizations continuing to fight for trans liberation. We must raise the standards of our current movement-building work to center it around the needs of trans women of color.