Protect Black Trans Men: Avary Palmer is OUR Brother!
WASHINGTON–On June 24th, Avary Palmer, a Black trans man, was drugged and raped by a United States Marshall. Palmer shared his experience via Instagram. In response to the horrific incident, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director David Johns released the following statement:
“Violence against Black people, Black trans people must come to an end. Sexual violence affects every demographic and every community; however lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people experience sexual violence at similar or higher rates than heterosexual people. We do not have an exact count of the frequency with which Black trans people have been sexually assaulted because federal statistics are limited and we know that there is significant under-reporting. We do know that these violent acts disproportionately plague Black LGBTQ/SGL people and the hate filled rhetoric attacking diversity and difference coming from the White House is multiplying prejudice.
“Someone Avary believed to be a friend, drugged his drink at a bar, drove him to a field, and raped him. Palmer expressed that he is not looking for pity. He understands the importance of speaking up for himself and the community. When considering the lives of Black trans men, there is not much data to be found. We often speak more of the lives and experiences of Black trans women.
“Black transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination and violence among transgender people. From education to employment and housing discrimination, from police brutality to health care disparities, Black transgender people are suffering at extremely high rates due to bigotry and transphobia. The violence against the Black LGBTQ/SGL community, specifically Black transgender people exists because we allow it to. We each have an important role to play in ending gender based violence. Collectively we must hold government officials and legislators accountable for enacting policies that provide protections for individuals with regard to sexual identity, gender orientation, and gender expression. We must hold ourselves accountable for using affirming language, providing a safe space, and otherwise addressing the unmet needs that transgender and gender non-confirming members of our community.
Palmer is seeking monetary support as he has been forced to relocate from his home to ensure he is safe. Support by donating to his GoFundMe. For more information about how you can end gender based violence, refer to our Gender Justice Toolkit.