anti violence project
This Report Says More LGBT People Were Killed So Far In 2017 Than In All Of 2016
Advocates said the statistic — which doesn't include the Pulse nightclub shooting — "should be a wake-up call."
By Nidhi Prakash

More LGBT people have been killed in what advocacy groups categorize as hate-violence-related homicides so far in 2017 than in all of 2016, according to data from an LGBT rights organization.

As of August 2017, there have been 33 hate-violence-related homicides of LGBT people, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ count. In 2016, there were 28 — that number excludes the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

The numbers translate to roughly one hate-violence-related death every 13 days in 2016. So far in 2017, the pace of those deaths is at about one every six days.

Fifteen of those who were killed in 2017 were transgender women of color, and at least 12 were cisgender gay men. The reports came from all over the US, from Texas to New York to Wisconsin.

The NCAVP said that there’s no one clear explanation for the increase, but that it could be driven by a combination of increased media reporting, more accurate identification of victims by law enforcement, and a possible increase in violence. Increased media attention to LGBT rights — and particularly transgender rights — in recent months could also be part of the explanation.

“I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed,” Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed News. Her group coordinates with the NCAVP and is the lead agency that puts together the violence report.

Read the rest over at BuzzFeed. And then hug your people. I don’t have words.

Wait no, let me Scalp the foolish and Educate the Unaware:

Pink is for Sex, that which you use as an instrument to further objectify and fetishize People of Color. Oh but never forget the golden rule: No Fats, No Fems.

Red is for Life, that which is taken from Trans Women of Color, 11 to have been reported as of today. And let’s not forget the erasure of 49 Victims of a massacre that was widely social climbed as a stunt for Gun Reformation from a Cis White Gay lens, while neglecting that a majority of those who died were LATINX. Can’t even say their names right in a fukin’ speech _._

Orange is for Healing, unless you’re a person of color, to which the reaction to trauma is either “Get over it” “All Lives Matter” or “We are Orlando” 🙄

Yellow is for Sunlight, except if you’re a Sex Worker, Fat, HIV Affected, not “Real” or “Passable”, etc. then you don’t get sunlight. You get to stay in the closet you’re forced to by your own community.

Green for Nature, because the Gender and Sex Binaries are so unnatural, but fuck what Trans/Queer/Non-Binary folks say, let’s just go ahead and focus on the same Science and Religion that was used to Oppress us all, ESPECIALLY people of color.

Blue is for Art, in the form of caucasity and mediocrity that washes and gentrifies our neighborhoods because we aren’t “edgy” enough compared to cis white standards, until you get validated by some hipster from Toronto with Blonde Dreadlocks dip-dyed to look like an Easter egg.

Indigo for Harmony, because we need to all stop trying to segregate one another and all just identify as Human. Because it is Humans that get killed by the police, Humans that are more often the victims of Hate Violence and Sexual Violence, Humans that are Slut-Shamed based off both the color of the skin and the Identity or Expression of their Gender or lack there of…

Violet for the Human Spirit, a Spirit that is a Reflection of the Oppressors that forced them into a closet in the first place, because all cisgender white folk care about is not being oppressed by their own “people”, but when People of Color ask for the same equal rights and social justice, it’s “Wait your Turn” politics or “Get over It”.

For all of those complaining about the black and brown stripe being included in Philly’s Rainbow Flag, THIS is why they put them there! THIS IS WHAT THEY STAND FOR. Not the joy of being Human, but the Erasure of People of Color from the Narrative!!! THE RAINBOW FLAG NEVER REPRESENTED US. IT WAS NOT DESIGNED WITH US IN MIND. ESPECIALLY QUEER/TRANS/NON-BINARY FOLK.

So shut the fuck up, and either get on the right side of aspiring allyship, or go over there with the wrong side of History. Y'all History. The history of Oppression. How does it feel boo? PS: Share this, but don’t @ me. You want anything else? PAY ME. I’m done teaching.

Written by: Raffy Regulus

Rafael “Raffy” Rios (Pronouns They/Them/Theirs) has served the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-Affected communities for almost 10 years. They have led youth programs throughout NYC in several organizations, and as a Health Educator and Youth Leader, they acquired knowledge in working with Queer/Trans Youth of Color. Currently, Raffy is a Counselor/Advocate for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, where they focus on supporting survivors of violence with counseling and advocacy through a trauma-informed lens. Through Raffy’s work at AVP, they liaison as a Trainer and Counselor/Advocate with the Brooklyn Family Justice Center; and a Co-Facilitator for a Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Youth Support Group at the Adolescent AIDS Program in the Bronx, referring youth to medical care and trans-related services. Raffy continues to engage with their community and focuses on building relationships that will bring visibility to LGBTQ youth in need of shelter, leadership development, and other supportive services.
Bathroom phobias trans and non-binary people think you should actually have
Transphobic bathroom legislation is sweeping across the nation. So five trans and non-binary people from The Anti-Violence Project came to Mashable to tell us what our bathroom priorities should be.
By Heather Dockray
Introducing the Trans Women's Healing Justice Project

The Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project is now the Trans Women’s Healing Justice Project. This name change marks a renewed focus on creating positive change for trans women. This project was created to address the disproportionately high rates of violence and oppression experienced by trans women in order to bring about healing and justice for those living at the intersections of anti-trans and anti-women violence. So, rather than focusing on what the project opposes, the new name emphasizes the desired goals of the project: healing and justice.

Violence, whether institutional or interpersonal, results in both trauma and injustice. Without individual and collective healing, there can’t be true justice. And without justice, there can’t be true healing of individuals and communities. It’s the position of the Healing Justice Project that any intervention opposing the intersections of anti-women and anti-trans violence will be best when it seeks to provide both healing and justice.

ICON8 Insights (pt. 1)

I’ve been meaning to do a write up on my experiences at ICON8 (the illustration conference) that was held recently in Portland. I got sick a few days after the event wrapped up and my mind was a bit of a blur post-ICON– with hundreds of attendees to meet and dozens of inspiring talks and workshops, it was a lot to process!

1. What’s the current state of illustration? Are there any trends that are coming about?

There are a lot of illustrators out there, and the quality level coming right out the gate is really high! I had the privilege of knowing a lot of the student volunteers (a lot of them were my students!) and meeting many of them; I’m equal parts inspired and intimidated by the talent level both out there currently and coming soon. I won’t say that there are any trends I noticed that are brand new, more that they’ve been steadily developing over the past few years. I noticed a lot of animals, a lot of hand lettering, a lot of people incorporating color and pattern into their work. Lots of illustrations of forests and characters, and a steady dose of humor threaded throughout.

I think for me personally, I’ve learned an important lesson to step outside of the illustration world for inspiration; everything is so visible all the time that the visual language could get easily diluted. But the bigger thing outside of visual trends that I was encouraged by was the sheer number of illustrators (especially at the Roadshow) with a story to tell, or an entrepreneurial spirit. Their interests, loves are on full display, which leads me to #2:

2. Don’t discount your point of view– making things you are excited by is contagious and can develop an audience.

The theme of ICON8 was work and play, and through its myriad speakers, a recurring anthem of ‘do what you love’ came through. Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done– how do you do that when you’re just starting out or struggling? It takes a lot of grit and a near-quixotic determination to bust down those windmills of self-doubt, that’s for sure.

The talks that stuck with me most were:

  • Spotlight Stories, where Jan Pinkava talked about Google’s new storytelling form focusing on smartphones.
  • Nelson Lowry’s talk about his work both for Laika and in his spare time, and how the personal work (robots! paintings!) feeds both exploits.
  • Uncool: The Anti-Gun Violence project at Art Center was something I’d never heard of and probably would’ve glossed over but was one of the most emotionally impactful projects. Geared to children through books, trying to solve the problem of gun violence being so invasive in culture without being preachy or condescending to its audience.
  • Carson Ellis, because she’s a delight– but also because you can see her life is creative, both in the work and in the way she spends her time. Seeing her pull lessons from gardening or quilting and applying it to her work, finding no distinction between her creative practice and her life really engaged me.
  • Calef Brown’s talk about his work because his work is so playful, is thoughtful but doesn’t take himself seriously, and wouldn’t let up with the humor. The strength of his personality and spirit shone through the work.
  • Souther Salazar’s talk about how play informs his work, and how little things can inspire big projects.
  • Robynne Raye (of Modern Dog) talking about the struggles and victories of fighting for your work, even against a giant like Disney.
  • Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen about their exploits collaborating on two books together. Really taught me a lot about the power of the page turn and where you can surprise and delight your audience.
There were takeaways from each talk of course, but these ones stuck out the most. So what did I take away from these?
  • You can take your practice seriously but you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Every project has a problem to solve and an audience to impact in some way.
  • Whether projects were spurred out of a need to heal or an outburst of joy, you can see the pleasure of making and discovering something important in someone’s work. Work and play feeds us and the result feeds our audience.
  • Although I’ve heard you should make a separation between your work and yourself, many of the speakers seem to have blurred the lines even further. But this leads me to my next point:
  • It’s important to nourish yourself with playful endeavors that aren’t WORK. This can be creative, but if you spend your creative time only making things that feel portfolio-ready, there’s no opportunity to make mistakes and learn and grow from them. And these things can lead to new processes and ideas as opposed to just repeating yourself.
Of course, this doesn’t just mean 'follow your bliss!’ because frankly a lot of those sort of statements are pithy and useless. I read something earlier this year that talked about how following your passion doesn’t mean 'what you’re interested in’ but rather 'what are you willing to suffer with?’ Which is a funny statement to correlate with making room for play in your work– but you’re always going to struggle a bit with playing feeling too self-indulgent (aka the “BUT WHAT IS IT FOR??!?!” crisis), and you might suffer through some ugly results but it’s better to take those risks than just turning creativity into a 100% business. You won’t benefit from that, your clients won’t benefit from it, and your audience won’t benefit from it.

3. Who’s your tribe?

I heard the term tribe bandied about a handful of times (guess who’s read Seth Godin?) and while sometimes I think it’s a little bit overused, I get the point. We are in an age of audience, and forgetting our audience can sometimes be a detriment (although trying to please your audience too much might not be good either). One thing I kind of wanted to hear more at ICON8 was 'how do you really connect with this audience?’ beyond 'oh post to Instagram! Post to a personal Facebook page! And have an outside life! But show that online. Etc.’ Because it’s amazing to have so many people following your work but keeping up with it is exhausting and honestly a lot of the time leads me chasing a weird dopamine high that a little heart or retweet can provide. And sometimes it just feels like I’m oversharing. I feel like we need a more soulful social network. One of the things I’ve thought the most about Twitter is that I miss what it was when I first joined– a little water-cooler to talk with people about things. Now I hunger for conversation and deeper connection– two things I found a lot during ICON8 but don’t find as much on social networks. Or maybe it just takes more time online and I don’t have time for that noise.

And beyond that, the big question I had: how do you actually find a way to slow the stream? Because there are so many people on so many social networks, so many creatives sharing what they make and so many consuming and moving onto the next shiny thing. Which okay, this is how we are now; but I want to find ways to slow down with the things I enjoy, ask questions and also stir dialogue. And I want to encourage my audience to connect deeper and slow down.

So who is my tribe? I know that there’s over 130k people following me on any number of social networks (as one of them, I can’t thank you enough!). But that’s not really enough of a metric, because I only really connect with a sliver of them. Or maybe that’s enough? One thing that I found interesting was talking about Kickstarter with a friend of mine; I’ve always shied away from it because I usually just think 'it has to be good enough, something really important’ or 'I could just save up and fund it myself.’ But I also realized in that platform, your audience can find joy in supporting something they connect with and help bring it to life. Instead of just being a set of eyes glancing on something they get to be a part of the birth of something new. The audience gets to invest their interest and money into the creative. Which was kind of neat to think about and made me wonder about that as a possibility at some point.

4. You need to make time for play in your work, and you need to continue learning and trying new things in order to trust your point of view.

Hard lessons for me to learn but really vital. In the past few years as a teacher, I’ve gotten really good about encouraging others to push their point of view and explore their passions but I’ve lost faith in mine a bit. The whole 'but is it ________ enough?’ complex– which is a deadly game to play. I have started so many projects and given up before the concepting stage was complete because it didn’t seem to be enough; so many lost little ideas. I don’t regret this because it’s made new attempts stronger, but I am remorseful. So in my own personal practice I am trying silly ideas (more on that in a future post) just because I can, researching things I’m fascinated by that have nothing to do with my field, writing more to develop ideas and stories, trying to draw things I have no idea how to draw well, and pursuing little personal and collaborative projects to refill the creative well. I’m learning a lot. All the meanwhile trying to shush the 'is it enough?’ voice. I’m not sure these exploits will ever turn into a freelance project officially, but right now I am satisfied enough that I’m doing something that will feed something else somewhere down the line. The thing I wrote down in my sketchbook twice: this is a planting time.

I have more insights to share (including things I would’ve loved to see at ICON8 and what I’d love to see at ICON9!), but I’ll save that for a post on Friday.

On March 31, the White House held the first-ever briefing on the issues faced by transgender women of color, featuring a panel of nine trans women of color from different states, communities and fields. March 31, of course, is the International Transgender Day of Visibility (and the last day of Women’s History Month), and the White House and the National LGBTQ Task Force joined forces to uplift the voices of trans women of color in this forum. 

The panelists were: Tracee McDaniel from the Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Inc.; Ruby Corado from Casa Ruby; Mattee Jim from First Nations Community HealthSource; Bamby Salcedo from Trans-Latin@ Coalition; Dr. Ayana Elliott, FNP from The Elliott Group, LLC; Raffi Freedman-Gurspan from the National Center for Transgender Equality; LaLa Zannell from the New York City Anti-Violence Project; Kylar Broadus from the National LGBTQ Task Force; and Cecilia Chung from the Transgender Law Center.

Here’s a report-back from the Task Force’s Kayley Whalen, herself a Latina trans woman who attended the panel:

Each of the speakers, many of whom had personally experienced anti-trans violence, were an example of the resiliency and vibrancy of our community. Each of those present is working as an advocate to change the narrative about transgender lives – that our lives matter, that we are hirable, that we deserve good jobs, education, healthcare, safe housing and loving relationships free from violence. Trans people’s lives need to stop being criminalized; we are tired of being profiled and harassed by police; we are tired of being imprisoned simply for trying to survive; we are tired of being detained by immigration authorities when we come to the U.S. to escape from violence; we are tired of being harassed, assaulted and being denied medical care in jails, prisons and detention centers; and we are sick and tired of having to prove that we are human beings who deserve dignity and respect.

This is an incredible step for trans visibility, inclusion, and affirming our movement’s commitment to tackling the systemic violence and oppression trans women of color endure. That said, it is a step, not a solution – we need more than White House recognition in order to make change happen, and we must listen to the voices and experiences of trans women of color every day, not just on the days when they’re featured at the White House. 

Read Kayley’s full account of the experience, including a groundbreaking kickoff for the new national office of the Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC) and Casa Ruby’s new TransLife Center that took place the day after the panel, over at the Huffington Post


Extremely huge shout out to the NY Anti-Violence Project for coming through pre-party and during the party to help us begin become safe space facilitators and engaged allies to folks who come build w/ us. Abuse is not welcome in any form in bklyn boihood spaces. We’ve recently had to manage this internally. It is absolutely a real journey for all of us in our personal, professional and spiritual lives.

December 31st 1993.

Now you might be asking yourself what’s significant about that date. Well that’s the day that Brandon Teena was murdered a little over twenty years ago. How many of the people who like to cite Brandon as how it’s just as hard to be a trans man as a trans woman were even born yet? How many of them are even old enough to remember it happening?

Yaz'min Shancez and Zoraida Reyes. Who are they you might ask? Two trans women of color murdered this month. How many of you will even remember that they existed in a year let alone twenty? Do people not realize how many trans women (mostly of color) have been murdered in the last twenty years? How many of those trans women’s killers walked? I’m guessing close to all of them since nobody seems to give a shit about trans women of color.

Yet everyone seems to remember the boy who was killed twenty years ago. Why do you remember him? Because it’s sensational, news worthy. The death of a hetero trans man is apparently so tragic, or sensational enough, or rare enough to warrant more attention than the literal genocide of trans women of color that is apparently just a part of daily life. Even the justice system reflects this. Brandon’s killers got the death penalty while the vast majority the people who killed these women will never even be arrested.

It’s not just about the threat of murder either. The Anti Violence Project report from both 2012 and 2013 has shown that trans women are disproportionately the victims of violence in anti-LGBT hate crimes. That we are vastly more likely to face abuse by police when reporting these crimes. The rate of sexual assault against trans women is astronomically high and the first occurrence happens at an average age that makes me sick. The beliefs that lead to this staggeringly common violence permeate our culture and worm their way into everywhere. So before you go to conjure up the ghost of Brandon Teena to ask “what about the men”, ask yourself why it is that you feel the need to stand, with this violence laid out at your feet, and deny that trans women are dying all around you. Why do you feel the need to try and front that trans men are in the same hell as trans women? People want this community to stand united? Then get behind your sisters. Next time you see a trans woman who needs donations so she can eat, actually donate. Next time you see a DFAB trans person being a transmisogynist actually call them out. Next time you see a DFAB trans person who harms trans women actually do something about it. Next time you see someone call a trans woman transphobic because she doesn’t like trans men do something. Just do something. Trans people will never be united as long as transmisogyny remains unchecked.
K.c. Haggard is the 11th trans person murdered this year (and the 2nd this week)
Witnesses saw K.c. Haggard, 66, lying on the sidewalk bleeding but did not help, surveillance video of the scene appears to show. Haggard is the second trans person killed this week and the 11th th...
By Dominic Holden

K.c. Haggard, age 66, was murdered in Fresno, California on Thursday. The details of Haggard’s gender identity are unclear, but activists in the area believe that Haggard identified as a trans woman. 

If this is true, Haggard is at least the 11th trans person to have been killed in the United States this year, and the second this week; the death of India Clarke, a black trans woman in Tampa, FL, was reported just days ago. 

Haggard was stabbed in the throat by someone in a car and fell to the ground after the assailants fled. Several people approached Haggard on the ground, and then kept moving without offering help. 

While hate-motivated violence against LGBT people dropped 32% overall in 2014 compared with the previous year, hate-motivated violence against transgender people rose 13%, according to a report released in June by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

“We are outraged by the homicide of two transgender women in the U.S. within three days, and we mourn the loss of K.c. Haggard and India Clarke,” Shelby Chestnut, who is co-director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti Violence Project, in a statement. “There can be no more bystanders in this epidemic of violence against transgender women — we all must actively support transgender women’s leadership and their safety.”

I don’t even have the words anymore. Rest in power.