On CNN, trans advocate Gillian Branstetter highlights the work left to do “to ensure the safety of transgender people nationwide”

National Women's Law Center's Branstetter: Black trans women “are subject to harassment and profiling and abuse by police, by our nation’s prison system”

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Citation From the June 15, 2020, edition of CNN’s CNN Newsroom

GILLIAN BRANSTETTER (NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER SPOKESWOMAN): You know, today is such a historic victory for LGBTQ people across the country, and especially transgender people like myself. Fear of losing our jobs is one of the primary reasons transgender people cite for staying in the closet, forcing us to live in fear and under a cloud of shame just to show up to work every day. I think this case -- when we woke up this morning, it was still legal in 28 states to fire an LGBT person because of who they are or who they love. And now, it is illegal nationwide to subject somebody to such prejudice. It's really hard to overstate the importance of today’s victory.


BRIANNA KEILAR (HOST): When you're looking at a series of victories here in recent years for the LGBTQ community, how do you fit this into that sort of -- the broader victories and also what you want to see even more of in the future?

BRANSTETTER: You know, today’s victory is critical, but we do still have so much work left to do. Because we want every LGBT person in this country to live freely and safely. You know, just yesterday in front of the Brooklyn museum, 15,000 people showed up at a march for the safety and the dignity of Black transgender lives. We know that Black transgender women in particular are four times as likely to become a murder victim as a non-transgender woman. They are subject to harassment and profiling and abuse by police, by our nation’s prison system. And there is so much work left to do to secure every transgender person's safety.

So, yes, today is a critical victory, but there is so much work left to do. Just over the weekend, we learned that calls into Trans Lifeline, which is a crisis intervention line run for and by transgender people, had nearly doubled since the lockdowns began, both because of increased suicidality, especially among trans youth, but also intimate partner violence. Also, people having very few places to go and in need of help. A shelter right here in D.C. was threatened with a Pulse-like massacre on the anniversary of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. There's so much more work we need to do to ensure the safety of transgender people nationwide, even given this historic victory.