Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), an annual observance that honors the memory of those who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender bias and violence. While DC joins the rest of the nation in mourning and remembering the beautiful souls who have passed since last year’s TDoR, we wanted to dedicate this blog post to an amazing organization in our community who works to uplift and empower the Trans/nb community every single day of the year: Trans-Latinx DMV. Hear more from their Director Alexa Rodriguez:
We are Trans-Latinx DMV, a Two-Spirit led organization that centers around the needs of Black & Indigenous Trans-Latinx people living in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
Trans-Latinx DMV’s mission is to advocate for the needs of the Trans-Latinx community while strategizing ways to improve the community’s quality of life in DC, Maryland, and Virginia (also know as the “DMV”). We also work to amplify education resources that help to promote Trans leader empowerment.
The Transgender community is the least privileged and most marginalized community in the world. Being Trans in the US while being a community of colors makes us an even more vulnerable population. We oftentimes end up last on the list, even amongst LBGTIQ populations – the T is always silent. While awareness days and visibility are great ways to bring people together, that’s not enough. We need specific programs tailored towards the Latinx community and we need stable funding to continue to make an impact on our community.
There are a lot of great sexual health resources in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, not all of the members of our vibrant Transgender, Gender-Non-Conforming, and Gender Non-Binary Community can access them. Some of the largest accessibility barriers that exist are as follows:
- Lack of knowledge that services tailored for them exist
- Lack of language accessibility
- Lack of insurance/ability to participate in the U.S. Healthcare system
- Lack of stable living situation/homelessness
- Lack of job opportunities based on gender-related discrimination
Beyond these barriers, we must suffer humiliating forms of mistreatment (e.g. misgendering, using improper name/pronouns after death, etc.). Things that seem so straightforward and common like public transportation or walking through the city become traumatic events as catcalling, harassment, and even violence are all very real, very terrifying possibilities. This leads to a trauma that follows us everywhere that we go.
Trans-Latinx DMV works to bridge that gap by connecting our community to much-needed resources. So what services do we provide to DC?
When you are observing #TDoR, please also remember the groups that are on the ground daily, putting in the work to keep Trans/nb folks safe daily. We need your support not just today, but every day.
Alexa Rodriguez is the Director of Trans-Latinx DMV and a community advocate for Trans/nonbinary Latinx folk and those living with HIV. She is a community organizer and can be found around the city hosting events, providing peer mentoring, and changing the world! You also may have seen her as one of the gorgeous faces of our first-ever Spanish only #PrEPPledge campaign. Give her a follow on Facebook and support Trans-Latinx DMV on Facebook or Instagram.