Blatigenous Club holds “Trans Lives Matter” demonstration

More than 20 people gathered with the Blatigenous Club of Pierce College at a “Trans Lives Matter” demonstration Wednesday in the free speech zone on the Mall.

Signs laid out on the ground read “Stop Trans Violence” and “Protect Trans Lives.” The event’s aim was to raise awareness of the issues that face transgender people of color and was timed to coincide with the nationwide Trans Awareness Week that ends Friday.

“We also brought to attention that over 20 trans women have been killed in 2015 alone, and it hasn’t even been the end of the year yet,” said Rene Paredes, a Blatigenous Club member and a co-organizer of the demonstration.

Dan Maldonado is a Blatigenous Club member and co-organizer of the event, and identifies as genderqueer. Maldonado said statistics show transgender people have a life expectancy that is much lower than those outside the trans community.

“The average lifetime that a trans woman can aspire to is 35 years,” Maldonado said.

Another co-organizer, Rajah Jones, said that statistic had a powerful impact on her.

“That’s scary because I’m 35 now, and a trans woman of color,” Jones said.