This week, I’m calling my community out on their shit. The homophobia and transphobia that exists within the Black Community is toxic. Here’s how to scream “Black Lives Matter” and include Black trans people.
I saw a disturbing video on Instagram today. It was an unnecessary, evil act of violence that is difficult to even articulate. A group of transgender women were robbed and brutally beaten by six men. These men then had the audacity to post a video of them committing this hate crime. One of the survivors, Eden, posted the video here.
This instance of violence against a transgender person does not exist in a vacuum. This is not the first time this has happened. We’ve seen this with Dominique Fells in June. We’ve seen this with Bree Black. And so many more instances that society has ignored and forgotten about.
So this isn’t new. Shock and disbelief are not the only feelings you should have when you hear about violent act against transgender people. People, in general, need to seek accountability and change.
“We support the trans community precisely because this community has taught us how to challenge that which is totally accepted as normal. And I don’t think we would be where we are–encouraging ever larger numbers of people to think within an abolitionist frame–had not the trans community taught us that it is possible to effectively that which is considered the very foundation of our sense of normalcy.”
Today, I want to focus on the existing trends of transphobia and homophobia in the Black community. Indeed, Black people are not the only people perpetuating transphobia, the Black experience is the only experience I can draw from. And in my opinion, it’s extremely dangerous to support the Black Lives Matter Movement without supporting all Black Lives.
Since the 1969 Stonewall Movement, LGBTQIA+ rights and Civil Rights for Black people have gone hand in hand. You simply cannot have one without the other. In the morning of June 28th in 1969, queer people protested in response to a violent raid of a gay club at the hands of the New York City Police. Marsha P. Johnson, an African-American self-identified drag queen and activist is thought to have thrown the first brick, sparking protests that lasted for 6 days.
There’s a little history for you. I’m no historian. What I am is a Black, cisgender, heterosexual woman that has enough sense to show acceptance rather than prejudice toward the transgender community. Identifying as such, I’ve witnessed so many microaggressions toward the queer community.
Black men that say, “You’re a man? Why are you tricking me?”
First of all, stop objectifying transgender woman. Their simple presence isn’t for your sexual pleasure. Just be honest. Your toxic sense of masculinity is damaged.
Black women that say, “You will never be a real woman!”
You’ll hate to hear this, but you’re wrong. People who identify as women are women. You don’t get to take that away.
People that say, “You’re my first transgender friend!”
Vibe check: transgender people are people, not trophies.
Those are just a few things I’ve heard said to and about transgender people. They’re not okay. So how can we help?
Well, I’ll tell you the same thing I always do. Do the research. Listen to transgender people when they talk. Recognize that Black transgender people are included in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Fight for them the same way you fight for cisgender Black people.
Next week, I’m finally rating “Black Is King.” As promised.
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