FLUX Response to the Death of Roxsana Hernandez
FLUX is saddened and angered to hear about the untimely death of a transgender woman of color, 33-year old Roxsana Hernandez, while in the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Hernandez is reported as a Central American migrant person fleeing from Honduras where she was sexually assaulted by gang members and acquired HIV.
She is reported to have been denied emergency medical treatment that is required for all people in custody and is believed to have died from cardiac arrest stemming from symptoms of dehydration and pneumonia along with health issues related to HIV.
Hernandez’s story is unfortunately not an isolated one. Many transgender people are forced to leave their homes to seek safety in other countries where trans* existence at best, is merely tolerated. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Hernandez echoes the sentiment that many migrant people voice: not wanting to leave their homes, but being forced to leave due to violence and discrimination.
FLUX wants to address the mistaken belief that being of trans* existence in the United States is easy. IT IS NOT. For a person of lower socio-economic status, many if not most transgender people face high discrimination in the forms of employment, housing, and socialization. We want to remind our audience that when people are not allowed a fair chance at competitive wages, people are forced to work jobs that are demeaning and dangerous. When trans people are denied an opportunity to rent an apartment, they are forced to live in areas that are dangerous. When a transgender person is not welcomed to socialize in typical areas, such as restaurants, bars, and public spaces, they are forced to gather in places that are not uplifting. All these actions stunt the trans* community’s ability to thrive in healthy conditions that are afforded to other populations.
We do not want any more people thinking that Roxsana Hernandez as a diseased threat to America. She needs to be seen as someone in need of asylum from a violent place, just trying to survive. Migration is part of the history of mankind. Do not make Hernandez’s story sound any different.
FLUX is calling out to our audience, our friends and families, to openly talk about trans* issues and to explain the conditions that transgender people have to exist in, to survive. We encourage you to hire trans people who are capable to doing the work, into your businesses, we promote the welcoming of neighbors who are transgender who need a home to rest before returning to the daily grind, and we ask that you include trans* people into your social networks so they are able to exist together to create meaningful lives for everyone.