6 Things You Can Do To Support Black Trans Lives

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6 Things You Can Do To Support Black Trans Lives
Entertainment And News

June 12th, 2020 marked four years since one of the deadliest attacks on the LGBTQ+ community at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

But the destruction of LGBTQ+ lives is an ongoing problem.

This week, as Pride month continues, the Black Lives Matter protests progress, and the President attempts to repeal transgender healthcare protections, the news of two Black trans women found dead within 24 hours of one another is a harsh reminder that the LGBTQ+ community faces a discrimination unimaginable by the rest of society. 

RELATED: 8 Helpful Ways To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement

Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells and Riah Milton are just two of the 15 known transgender murder victims in 2020 alone. These two women are part of a Black transgender community that faces homelessness, assault, and incarceration at disproportionate rates.

They are doubly discriminated against by systems that oppress both LGBTQ+ people and Black people, yet many trans men and women feel excluded from the Black Lives Matter movement.

For many, they feel they have to choose between fighting in solidarity with their race or their trans community because their intersectional experience of discrimination is not represented by either movement. 

True equality requires justice for all. As one of the most at-risk groups within the Black community, Black trans people need continued support and representation. In the Black Lives Matter Movement, it is essential that all Black lives matter.

Here’s how to support Black trans lives and the Black trans community now and in the future. 

1. Sign these petitions.

  • Justice For Tony McDade: This petition is to bring the officers who killed Tony McDade to justice. McDade was a Black trans man, shot dead in Florida just two days after George Floyd’s murder. So far, no action has been taken against his murderer.
  • Justice for Dominiqe Fells: As the investigation into Dominique Fells’ death continues with no arrests, this petition is demanding the Philidelphia police department devote more time to her case in the hopes of finding her murderer.
  • #DefundPolice: This petition demands that money put into inefficient police work be redistributed among underprivileged communities.

2. Donate.

Continuous support will help the LGBTQ+ community advocate for the right of Black trans communities. Here are a few organizations you might consider donating to:

RELATED: 7 Tangible Examples Of Real Change Inspired By Black Lives Matter Protests & Activists In The Wake Of George Floyd's Murder

3. Attend marches and protests.

The momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement has stayed so strong because of the numerous crowds who are taking to the streets all across the world.

Marches have allowed stories of racial inequality to dominate the media for weeks, and has already invited some monumental changes in terms of police reform and funding for minorities.

Even though Pride parades are canceled, Black Lives Matter marches are a great way to highlight and celebrate Black trans lives. If it’s safe for you to attend a march, consider making signs and placards that support the trans community, and represent their struggles within this movement.

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4. Support trans activists.

Hollywood stars Laverne Cox and Janet Mock are standard representatives for the trans community, but there are a host of other names doing amazing work who you should also check out.

  • Imara Jones is the woman behind TransLashMedia, a multi-platform project that focuses on telling the stories of trans people.
  • Tiq Milan is a writer, speaker, and activist in the trans community.
  • Elle Hearns is a trans woman who is one of the many key faces in the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Tyler Ford is an advocate for non-binary and agender people.

RELATED: 15 Anti-Racist Activists Worth Following On Instagram

5. Educate yourself.

Staying informed on trans issues and racial injustice will help you become a better ally to the Black trans community. Reading and engaging with the work of these Black activists is great, but there are other things you can do too.

Speak to the people in your life and make sure you are using their correct pronouns. Do your research so you understand and advocate for the needs of the transgender community.

TransEquality.org has several informative pieces that any ally should read, including: Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender People, Understanding Non-Binary People, and About Transgender People.

You could also check out the work of Black trans writers such as My Life is No Accident by Tenika Watson or Redefining Realness by Janet Mock to better understand the experiences of this historically silenced group. 

6. Advocate for change. 

The Black Lives Matter movement is so much more than a hashtag or trend. Supporting Black and transgender communities requires a constant push for equality.

Speak up in your own life when you witness or hear discrimination or offensive jokes.

Talk to your employers about what they’re doing to improve employment opportunities and working conditions for the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC community.

Inform your family and friends about some of the struggles these communities face.

Being an anti-racist, LGBTQ+ ally means you never relent until we have achieved equality for all lives.

RELATED: How Transgender Actress Angelica Ross Is Making LGBTQ History On 'Pose' & 'American Horror Story'

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.