Allison Woolbert on the Need for Tracking of Anti-Transgender Violence

Published: November 11, 2013

 Recently my newsfeeds have been flooded with stories about attacks on trans* and non-binary individuals, from Sasha Fleischman, who was set on fire in California, to Islan Nettles, who was murdered on a New York City street, to transgender Pakistanis assaulted by police. This is a segment of our global population that is routinely ignored and constantly suffering as a result of that invisibility. Fortunately, one trans* and bisexual activist is taking charge of this problem, turning to Kickstarter in hopes of raising the funding to launch the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal. I sat down with Allison Woolbert to discuss her campaign and what she hopes will come from it.

A.J. Walkley: What is your connection to the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal?
Allison Woolbert: I am a concerned member of the community. I wanted to find a way to make sure that the violence against transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people is accurately documented and not swept under the carpet. I launched the Kickstarter project to make the vision of this project a reality. As CEO of a computer software development company, I am providing the programmers and technologies necessary to make this project successful.
Walkley: Why is a Transgender Violence Tracking Portal needed, in your opinion?
Woolbert: So often, the media and law enforcement are dismissive concerning the violence that is inflicted on transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people. In addition, hate incidents against transgender people are often not documented at all. Many of the cases that are reported are sensationalized, and the facts become muddled and disconnected. 
Currently, there is no data repository that can validate and provide tangible evidence of the violence that has been inflicted on the transgender community. Most of the information is scattered in sensationalized news articles, or published in blog formats that are not conducive to the collection of factual reports and statistics relevant to build awareness of what is happening. 
The facts related to the murders of transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people are often unavailable until the Transgender Day of Remembrance information is published in November each year. 
With this project, the data will be available to be reported and queried against every day of the year. At any given point in time, we will have a website that can show the world what the picture of our community looks like and raise the awareness and the responsibility of law enforcement to protect our basic right to live.
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