When 17-year-old Sonnis Love was scrolling through Twitter last week, she saw that someone she didn't know had tweeted photos of her, and was using them to spew transphobia.
Love is a proud transgender woman of color, she told BuzzFeed, and felt sexually violated by the tweet, which asked men to comment on her photos and say whether or not they'd still want to have sex with her after learning that she's transgender.
It was because she felt so violated, and because trans women of color are often subject to violence from sexual partners, that Love felt the need to speak out against the tweet.
"The real question is would I fuck y'all," she wrote in a response to the tweet. "Hell TF NO."
By responding to this tweet, Love not only stood up for herself but also shut down harmful stereotypes about transgender women, like the idea that transgender people are duplicitous and manipulative and "pretending" to be cisgender.
While some transgender people may not want to disclose their gender identity for personal or safety reasons, Love has always been open about her transition. The teen has an impressive presence as a YouTube beauty blogger, with more than 43,000 subscribers on YouTube and more than 99,000 followers on Instagram. All of her followers are well aware that she's transgender, because she speaks about her transition on both platforms.
Because she's so open about her transition, Love gets a lot of hate on social media, she tells Refinery29. Most of the time, she tries to keep a positive mindset, and would give the same advice to other trans women who experience hate. "No matter what, don't let people bring you down," she says.
But this specific post needed a response. "The tweet was basically fishing for transphobic comments just for pure entertainment," Love told BuzzFeed. As anyone who's paid attention to the news should know, transphobic comments like the one posted in the tweet are dangerous for transgender women. "Thousands of trans women are murdered [in] scenarios like [the one depicted in the post] and for people to make a joke about it is very disgusting," Love told BuzzFeed.
Her clapback to the men who perpetuate this kind of violent language earned Love praise from thousands of people. More than 160,000 liked the response, and more than 46,000 retweeted it. And we can see why. It's empowering to see a young transgender woman of color stand up for herself — when she feels safe to do so.
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