In 2012, Bienestar L.A conducted research for a report on the Interactions of Latina Transgender Women and Law Enforcement, finding over 21% having experience being assaulted by law enforcement, over 67% reporting negative or negligent conduct when reporting assault, even so, only 44% actually informed authorities when crimes were committed against them. (Bazargan & Galvan, 2012). Furthermore, as Tran scholars and advocates have pointed out, trans women of color make up 11% of reported hate crimes but over 44% of LGBT related homicides, how are transwomen and transwomen of color particularly vulnerable to state security and the limitations of police enforcement in ensuring safe communities and transjustice (NCAVP, 2011)?
Women such as Victoria Arellano and CeCe McDonald exist at the nexus of laws permitting the criminalization of gendered, racialized, and sexed and sexualized bodies in a particular way through the state and the prison industrial complex.
Furthermore, the extent of this state and (trans)gendered violence is told through narrratives of transwomen of color survivors, prisoners, immigrants, and activists. Victoria Arellano, a Mexican immigrant who in 2007 died from complications from HIV due to ICE neglect during her detention, and CeCe McDonald, who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to over 2 years in prison for killing her attackers, become representative of the dehumanization and criminalization of transwomen of color bodies and lives as the state and prison industrial complex further categorize and problematize gender non-conformity, transnational experiences, and poverty.
Some questioned I’ll explore will be:
What are the intersections of state violence and the prison industrial complex in criminalizing and further marginalizing transwomen of color due to gender non-conformity, citizenship, sexuality, and race/ethnicity?
What makes trans women of color in the U.S vulnerable to state security and policing, with encroaching standards for immigration and increasing stringency on hate crime legislation? What are the negative or unforeseen impacts of both?
What can transwomen of color learn from the narratives of trans survivors and advocates who hope to complicate dominant narratives of seeking justice for victims, attribute discrimination to sexist or ignorance within communities of color, or further invisiblize the state and interpersonal violence transwomen of color experience?
LEARNING FROM THE DEATH OF GWEN ARAUJO?—Transphobic Racial Subordination and Queer Latina Survival in the Twenty-First Century .
Linda Heidenreich. Chicana/Latina Studies , Vol. 6, No. 1 (Fall 2006), pp. 50-86