Following up on her sweeping speech to Human Rights Campaign volunteers last weekend, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton acknowledged Friday that the unabated murders of transgender women constitutes a “national crisis,” reports BuzzFeed News.
In a private meeting with Black Lives Matter activists in Washington, D.C., Clinton recognized that the reported 20 transgender women killed in the U.S. this year — most of whom have been trans women of color — signify what advocates have long called an “epidemic” of violence that Clinton hopes to combat if elected president.
Although the meeting was closed to the public, BuzzFeed News reports that trans activist Cherno Biko, who works to support the families of trans women killed, was in attendance, and spoke passionately about the fear she lives with daily as a black transgender woman.
“I think it’s really important to have [Clinton’s] voice as a part of this conversation,” Biko told BuzzFeed News. “We need all hands on deck.”
“[Clinton] acknowledged that it’s not her lived reality,” added Ferguson Commission’s Brittany Packnett, according to BuzzFeed News. “I don’t think she offered yet a lot of specifics about how to protect the most vulnerable among us, especially trans women of color. But it seemed like she wanted to do more listening on the topic which was encouraging.”
Biko was a guest on a recent HuffPost Live segment, where Advocate managing editor Sunnivie Brydum also addressed Clinton’s promises made to the LGBT community, including a pledge to value and honor the lives and humanity of transgender women. In that HuffPost Live Queerview segment, Biko speaks powerfully about the essential work she does supporting victim’s families, and earnestly reveals the emotional toll it takes on her to be surrounded by such seemingly endless tragedy.
Watch that HuffPost Live segment below, with The Advocate’s Brydum addressing Clinton’s promises in the first portion, and Biko’s heartfelt discussion beginning at the 7:20 mark.