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This Sunday, as Black Lives Matter protests continued across the country, thousands gathered outside the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. The protestors dressed in white, the group so large it stretched out into the streets, all there to rally in support of Black trans lives.
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In the past month alone, activists and protestors have been demanding justice for Tony McDade, a transgender man who was shot and killed by police on May 27th, and Nina Pop, a transgender woman who was found stabbed to death on May 3rd. They’ve been demanding justice for Layleen Polanco, a transgender woman who died in solitary a year ago; new footage shows guards laughing outside her cell before getting medical help. And now they’re demanding justice for Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, two Black transgender women who were killed recently in Ohio and Philadelphia, respectively. (You can find GoFundMes set up by McDade and Fells’ family here and here.) They’re calling for us all to #SayTheirNames.
This violence, which when tracked results in horrifying statistics, has been followed by disturbing regulation changes. On June 12th, the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the Trump administration removed healthcare protections for transgender people. The announcement came in the middle of Pride month—and in the middle of a global pandemic. As Adam Serwer wrote in The Atlantic back in 2018: The cruelty is the point.
If you’re looking for ways to support the fight for equality for Black trans men and women, this month and always, consider donating to one of the organizations below. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but it’s a place to start. (All descriptions via an organization’s website and social media platforms.)
Where to donate:
- The Okra Project is a collective that provides resources and meals to Black trans people. The Okra Project has also set up The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and The Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund, emergency mutual aid funds that raise money for mental health therapy.
- Emergency Release Fund is a member of the National Bail Fund Network, which was established following the death of Layleen Polanco. The mutual aid fund raises money to post bail for trans people, though in light of COVID-19, the fund has expanded its mission to post bail for medically-vulnerable individuals and those who identify as LGBTQ.
- Black Visions Collective aims to organize Black communities and dismantle systems of violence while centering queer and trans people.
- LGBTQ Freedom Fund posts bail for low-income individuals in jails and immigration detention.
- Transgender Law Center is a trans-led organization that works to change policy and law in order protect and advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people.
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute works to protect and defend the rights of Black transgender people.
- Lavender Rights Project provides low-cost civil legal services and community programming to LGBTQ+ people as well as other marginalized communities.
- For the Gworls raises money for Black trans people’s gender-affirming procedures and rent.
- Trans Women of Color Collective provides opportunities for and uplifts the narratives of trans people of color.
- SNaP Co. (Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative) is a Black trans- and queer-led abolitionist organization based in Atlanta.
- INCITE! works to end violence against women of color and trans people of color.
- Black Trans Travel Fund is an organization working to provide Black trans women with the financial resources needed to access safe transportation alternatives.
- Black Trans Femmes in the Arts is a collective that connects Black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts.
- The National Black Justice Coalition is a civil rights organization dedicated to Black LGTBQ+ people.
- G.L.I.T.S. (Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society) is a grassroots organization supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
- BreakOUT! is a New Orleans-based organization working to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth.
This post will continue to be updated.
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