[CW: Violence, Murder] Trans Justice

Last week during San Diego County’s Leon L. Williams Human Relations Commission meeting, Commissioner Pastor Dennis Hodges referred to transgender people as abominations. This month, 2021 became the deadliest year on record for our transgender siblings. A 21-year-old trans man, Poe Black, was killed in neighboring Imperial County in May of this year. There has been nearly no media coverage around his murder.

These devastating tragedies are also occurring in a year that has seen more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced into legislatures around the country. The biggest bullseyes for these bills are centered on our trans community and specifically trans youth. Our work is far from over.

While so much progress has been made in the fight for broad LGBTQ protections here in California, it is important for our non-trans community to understand that legal protections for trans folks are further out of reach. Even in regions and states like ours, the lived experience of our trans and nonbinary community does not yet match the legal protections and policies that have been put in place.

Our trans community siblings face higher rates of discrimination in the education system, employment, health care, direct service access, public accommodation, treatment by law enforcement, and more. Visibility and policy revisions alone aren’t the answer. As we reimagine our social systems we must understand the power that each of us has in our daily lives to stop discrimination in its tracks and proactively engage in shaping a safer and more equitable world for our trans siblings.

Trans Day of Remembrance is this Saturday. I hope you will join us as we mourn and honor the lives of the at least 46 trans community members, that we know of, who were murdered this year. I also hope that you use that time, that day, to pause and reflect on the role you play within your own schools, institutions of faith, government agencies, companies, small businesses, communities, social groups, sports teams, media outlets, arts and culture groups, friend circles, and families. From there you personally can make an impact toward ending transphobia, create a more equitable life for our trans siblings, save lives, and keep our movement Resilient.

With Pride,

Fernando Zweifach López
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride


About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.