More stigmatized and marginalized than any other segment of our community, trans-people are more likely to experience sexual violence than any other segment of the LGBTQ community. While violent hate crimes can happen to any of us, trans-people of color are especially susceptible to society’s trans-phobia and racism, and trans-women are more likely to experience violence, especially domestic violence.

Trans-people’s common experience of job discrimination culminates in higher levels of poverty, which renders even them more vulnerable to violence since such instabilities as financial problems and housing insecurity make it harder to access available resources and protections.

I ardently await the day when the onset of long overdue respect, acceptance, and inclusiveness finally bury such disheartening realities. I would love for people to understand that trans-people are just people — that we are all someone’s child, sister, aunt, cousin, and soulmate, just like they are. And yet for all the above reasons, until that day arrives, it is pivotal that we establish federal protections under the law for the sake of transgender individuals.

Click here to view pictures from the #TransLivesMatter Convention