Oh, the weeks, they get more grueling…
I hope you have heard of the two Black trans women found murdered earlier this week- Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells in Pennsylvania. I hope you have heard of them especially this week – on the fourth anniversary of the horrendous Pulse shooting where 49 of our LGBTQAI siblings were murdered, and 53 were wounded – the majority, of color. I hope you have heard of it, during this – Pride Month. I hope you have heard of them while Trump continues to strip away at our rights, one at a time, now attacking our health care protections once again. I hope you have heard.
If you think these things don’t affect you. They do. It seems evident to me throughout all this that human rights cannot be teased apart and separated. There is an intersectionality between Black lives matter, Black trans lives matter, the ‘rona, health care or lack thereof, and really, essential rights, women’s rights, and even gay rights. They are not all the same thing. I am not saying all lives matter. Let me be clear: BLACK LIVES MATTER.
I am saying though that a line can be traced through all of these dots connecting back to ‘human’ rights. Rights, it seems, cannot be parceled out, or dosed. Because human rights for one community is human rights for all. And any group not having human rights is costly to the spiritual, cultural and economic life of a society at large.
I hope you have heard their names because I hope you know and have heard that the transgender community of color is DYING daily at a disproportionate rate than that of any other community. The average life expectancy of trans women of color is 35. These names, their names, are mere whispers, shoved under the rug and forgotten. I hope you have heard them.
And I hope you dare… I hope you dare say their names because in that very same place we are looking right now to dismantle our own ingrained, internalized racism will be the same place we find the sexism, heterosexism, homophobia and transphobia that exists within us too. So why not instead, dismantle it all. Dismantle our own unconscious structure of heterosexist white supremacy along with the systems of oppression that exist all around us. Why not move the conversation there.
Some of you reached out asking what you can do. So you must have heard. For reaching out, I thank you; for your support, I thank you. I am searching for the answers. For now, make sure you are signed up to VOTE. That is an obvious one. If you want to do more, check out actforblacktranslives.org. It has information on great organizations to donate as well as what to do about Trump stripping our healthcare protections.
I love you all. I know I am preaching to the choir. I know we are all doing the good work. We are better than all of this. And I thank you for being brave and diving in with me always.