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HISTORY! @brooklynliberation was one of the largest rallies/marches for Black trans lives in history, centering Black trans voices—like @raquel_willis, @doroshow, @thefreeactorvist, @juniormintt, and the family of #LayleenPolanco—and demanding justice for Riah Milton, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Tony McDade, Layleen Xtravaganza Cubilette-Polanco, Nina Pop, and too many more in a despairingly long list. The protests were partially organized by a seed of an idea from @iamwestdakota, who was inspired — after consulting with @merrie_cherry — by a 1917 protest by the NAACP in which 10,000 people gathered in all white to stand up against anti-Black violence. The rest of the organizers included @theokraproject, @mpjinstitute, @forthegworls, @glits_inc, @btfacollective, @theelielcruz, and @fransquishco. Although the rally was somber at times as everyone remembered the deaths of their trans siblings, the energy turned to an outpouring of community love and Black trans joy during the (mostly) silent march, where the route started at Brooklyn Museum and ended at Fort Greene Park. Along the way, the crowd proudly chanted, “This is what community looks like,” and people vogued, a dance form that’s always been a type of resistance. New York’s LGBTQ+ community wasn’t alone: an estimated estimated 40,000 people marched at protests nationwide. And just one day later, the Supreme Court officially made it illegal to fire someone in America because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but as the summer stretches on, @brooklynliberation gave the community hope to harness the strength to continue fighting.
Ten days ago, West Dakota called me with idea. A Brooklyn-based protest creating space and action for Black trans lives. She referenced a New York protest in 1917 when the NAACP assembled 10,000 all wearing white standing up against anti-Black violence. #brooklynliberation pic.twitter.com/NlzecJrolU— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) June 15, 2020
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Yesterday was, overwhelming, to say the least. 15,000 people showed up in solidarity for black trans lives—lives that we owe many of our privileges to.... But it still didn’t feel like enough. Of those 15,000 majority were white and cis. There continues to be a lack of solidarity within the black community; we need to do better. Black & brown trans folks led (and continue to lead) movements for both LGBTQ+ and black rights. Yet we fail to give them the respect and recognition they deserve. Black trans people are consistently left out of discussions involving queer, black, and/or feminist issues, yet they are the most profiled and susceptible minorities. The media and the government are constantly deadnaming them, overlooking their cases, undermining the violence they endure, and even denying them simple rights such as equitable healthcare. Things that most of us cis folk will never understand and often take for granted. Black trans people are some of, if not the most, courageous people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. As if navigating the world as a black person in a patriarchal, systemically racist white society isn’t already difficult, they also have to endure fears of being misgendered, deadnamed, or worse, assaulted (from both white and black sides). I have black trans people to thank for many of the rights and privileges I do have, so you better believe I’m going to ride for them until they get theirs. #blacktranslivesmatter #blacklivesmatter #blm #brooklynliberation