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OUR VIEW: Anti-Trans comments from “Breakfast Club” guest sets bad example, promotes hate speech, violence against transwomen

“Equality Pennsylvania stands with the transgender community, publicly denouncing anyone or any entity that promotes the harm, injury, or murder of members of transgender people,” said Sharron Cooks, a Philadelphia-based black transwoman who serves as Vice President of Advocacy on the Equality Pennsylvania board of directors.

The statement comes after comedian Lil Duval made statements on the nationally syndicated talk radio show “The Breakfast Club” including referring to transgender people in a derogatory way and stating that if he discovered someone he was in a relationship was a transgender woman he would kill her.  Many brushed these remarks off as a joke, but Duval later clarified in a statement that he was not kidding around.

“It is especially disturbing that the promotion of violence against transgender persons would be tolerated in any situation, but having that kind of hate speech distributed via a nationally syndicated radio show is especially egregious,” Cooks added. “This inappropriately reinforces that hate speech of any kind is permissible.  It is most definitely not. This year alone we have had 16 transgender women murdered due to hate and transphobia.”

>> Click Here to Support our work to enact Trans-Inclusive Policy & Programs in Pennsylvania

In 2016, the Human Rights Campaign tracked at least 22 deaths of transgender people in the United States due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded.  In 2017, this number is currently at 16.  These victims were killed by acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged, while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into homelessness.

Equality Pennsylvania advocates for protections for all Pennsylvanians and stands against hate speech, hate crimes, and discrimination with elected officials, policy makers, and community leaders.  Click Here to Support our work to enact Trans-Inclusive Policy & Programs in Pennsylvania

Photo: Sharron Cooks

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