Joe Biden Reiterates Calls to End Anti-Trans Violence, Discrimination

Former Vice President Joe Biden is calling attention to the violence and discrimination facing transgender individuals, especially Black transgender women.
Reuters/ Tom Brenner

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden posted a written statement on his campaign website October 17 doubling down on his calls to end nationwide violence and discrimination facing transgender individuals, criticizing President Donald Trump for his administration’s attacks on the LGBTQ community, and outlining some of his own plans to improve the lives of queer Americans.

Biden used the statement to expand on some of the points he made when answering a pair of questions about queer issues at an October 15 town hall event during which he vowed to undo Trump’s multiple executive actions targeting trans and non-binary Americans and acknowledged the rising death toll of transgender women of color.

The 33 recorded deaths this year already represent the the most on record for transgender or non-binary Americans, and the victims have disproportionately consisted of Black transgender women. The previous annual record was 31 deaths in 2017.

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“These deaths don’t exist within a vacuum,” Biden said on his campaign website. “Dehumanizing government actions and rhetoric as well as a failure to address risk factors like domestic and intimate partner violence, underemployment and unemployment and poverty, housing insecurity and health disparities, put this community at risk.”

The former vice president continued, “From banning transgender patriots from serving their country, to attempting to limit transgender people’s access to health care in the midst of a pandemic, to literally erasing the word transgender from government websites, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have fueled the flames of transphobia in our nation while refusing to acknowledge the epidemic of violence.”

Biden also elaborated on some of his own plans to help improve the lives of transgender Americans following four years under Trump, whom he described as unfit to take on the epidemic of deadly transgender violence because he does not “recognize it as a fact” and fails to “believe in the humanity and dignity of transgender people.”

“As President, I will put forward comprehensive solutions to help empower the transgender and gender non-conforming community and prioritize the prosecution of anti-transgender violence,” Biden added. “My administration will enact the Equality Act to end legal discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, expand economic opportunities for LGBTQ+ people, reform our treatment of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in our criminal justice system, ensure access to accurate identification documents, and improve government data collection to better track violence against the transgender community.”

He concluded his statement with a simple message of solidarity with transgender Americans.

“I believe that Trans Lives Matter and, as president, I will fight on behalf of every vulnerable person in this country,” Biden said.

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