On MSNBC, trans advocate and founder of the TransGriot blog Monica Roberts highlighted the connection between anti-trans violence and years of rhetoric against the trans community -- including attacks from the Trump administration and trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or TERFs.
Roberts was interviewed about the death of Dustin Parker, a transgender man who was fatally shot in Oklahoma on January 1. His death is believed to be the first U.S. homicide of a trans person in 2020 and follows the violent killings of at least 25 trans or gender nonconforming people in 2019, most of whom were Black trans women.
During the January 4 edition of MSNBC Live with Kendis Gibson, Roberts specifically noted that violence against the trans community is the result of years of anti-trans rhetoric from both the Trump-Pence administration -- which has led a crusade to roll back federal protections for LGBTQ people in housing, health care, education, and employment -- and TERFs, anti-trans activists who identify as liberal or feminist. Roberts said, “That rhetoric just doesn’t go out in thin air. It is resulting in violence being directed at trans folks, which in a lot of cases turns fatal.”
Roberts also spoke out against so-called “trans panic” defenses, which are legal strategies that “seek to partially or completely excuse crimes such as murder and assault on the grounds that the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant's violent reaction.”
Notably, a day prior to his interview with Roberts, Gibson hosted ACLU attorney Chase Strangio to discuss the Trump-Pence administration’s latest discrimination against the trans community. Strangio discussed the trend of the administration removing LGBTQ mentions from federal anti-discrimination guidelines, most recently in the Interior Department. During the January 4 segment, Strangio noted that “what it's actually about is sending a public message that this administration is not invested in the LGBTQ community and is taking affirmative steps across the federal government to encourage discrimination against LGBT people.”
Roberts also appeared on ABC in October to discuss how the media can respectfully and accurately report on anti-trans violence, though historically, cable and broadcast TV news have failed to adequately cover anti-LGBTQ violence.