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Louisiana trans organizers fight COVID-19 with solidarity

By Dylan Borne |
March 23, 2020
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New Orleans, LA - Transgender community activists in Louisiana put together a crisis fund. It gives cash to trans and gender non-conforming people hit hardest by COVID-19.

The state reported 1172 cases and 34 deaths as of March 23. The governor issued a stay-at-home order and the state limited restaurants to take-out and delivery only. The New Orleans hospitality industry, employing three quarters of the city, is laying off tens of thousands of workers.

Trans and non-binary people face difficulties and discrimination others do not. Even before the crisis, in Louisiana:

-- One third dealt with job discrimination because of their gender

-- One third lost their homes at some point

-- 29% dealt with discrimination from healthcare providers

The prison system incarcerates half of Black trans people. ICE officers target, arrest and deport trans immigrants. Both Black and immigrant trans people deal with sexual assault behind bars.

From a health perspective, prisons spread the Covid-19 disease like wildfire. Also, trans people suffer five times the average HIV rate, and most trans people with HIV are Black. This makes for compromised immune systems, which means higher risk for death.

The people starting up this crisis fund and fighting back come from the state’s community movements, including Milan Nicole Sherry (of the Trans March of Resilience), Dylan Waguespack (Louisiana Trans Advocates), Mariah Moore (Human Rights Commission), Spirit McIntyre (Trans Visible) and Dylan Borne (Real Name Campaign and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization).

Trans people need free healthcare and housing that meets our needs. The government must protect against job discrimination. ICE raids must stop. Prisons and detention centers need to open. The people deserve a real response.

If you can, please donate to the fund: