Metro Weekly

Elizabeth Warren again highlights anti-trans violence at Democratic Debate

Warren noted the epidemic of violence against trans women of color during a debate light on LGBTQ issues

Elizabeth Warren, trans, debate, transgender

Sen. Elizabeth Warren — Photo: Gage Skidmore

Sen. Elizabeth Warren once again put the epidemic of violence against transgender women — particularly trans women of color — on the national stage during last night’s Democratic Debate.

While the overall debate in Des Moines, Iowa, was light on LGBTQ issues, Warren called out anti-trans violence during her closing statement.

Warren said she used her time during a commercial break to list a number of topics not covered during the CNN-hosted debate, including, how the “disability community is struggling for true equality,” gun violence, black infant mortality rates, climate change’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, and “how trans women — particularly trans women of color — are at risk.”

“And yet I come here tonight with a heart filled with hope,” she added. “And it’s filled with hope because I see this as our moment in history. Our moment when no one is left on the sidelines. Our moment when we understand that it comes to us to decide the future of this country. Our moment when we build the movement to make real change.”

It’s the second time Warren has directly raised the issue of anti-trans violence — which LGBTQ groups have described as an epidemic — during a debate.

In December, Warren pledged to read the names of transgender victims of violence annually as president.

“I will make sure that we read their names so that as a nation we are forced to address the particular vulnerability on homelessness,” she said. “I will change the rules now that put people in prison based on their birth sex identification rather than their current identification.”

She added: “I will do everything I can to make sure that we are an America that leaves no one behind.”

And in September, Warren used an appearance at an LGBTQ forum in Iowa to read the names of every trans woman of color killed in 2019.

Charlotte Clymer, rapid response press secretary at the Human Rights Campaign, praised Warren for once again highlighting violence against trans women.

“Making a donation to Elizabeth Warren tonight solely because she was the only candidate to specifically mention trans rights,” Clymer tweeted. “I’m so glad there’s a candidate up there giving visibility to trans folks on a national stage.”

Clymer added that she would “absolutely donate to any other candidate who mentions trans rights in one of these debates.”

And others took notice as well:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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