Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BLM Statement: It's Time! Putting The T Back In Black

In case some of you were wondering if #BlackTransLivesMatter to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, based on this statement and a previous comment from BLM co-founder Alicia Garza, the answer would be an emphatic YES!

The 'T' has always been part of the Black community.  It's just taking some people time to let that concept sink into their nappy headed craniums.

But I'll let you TransGriot readers peruse it for yourselves.


August 19, 2015
It's Time! Putting the T Back in Black

It is time we accept that state sanctioned violence is much more than police brutality. In the wake of 5 beautiful trans women losing their lives, just last week alone, we are full of grief. These terrible happenings are a result of the many factors that place black trans women in so much risk just by leaving our homes, if we even have homes to begin with. It is far past the time to shut shit down for black trans folks the same way we shut shit down for cis black men.

Black trans women have consistently resisted against anti blackness, patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and white supremacy by being a model of unapologetic truth. Black resistance doesn’t belong to just one group of black people it belongs to us all. We believe that in order to get free we must all get free. Black trans folks getting free isn’t up for debate.

We ask that you commit to learning the names of your sisters who have been murdered. We ask that you learn the names of your sisters who are fighting for your lives just as much as we are fighting for ours. We need more from our black cis counterparts. We need you to show up for the simple fact that black people are dying at the hands of this violence. When a black trans woman's body is found burned in a field, and there is no outrage from the community, it sends the message to us, and to everyone else that there is no value in our existence. That black trans women are fair game.

#BlackLivesMatter has consistently been supportive and in collaboration with black trans folks and especially with Black trans women. We have spent time developing principles,developing analysis,and creating deep practice that is full of love. There’s no action without practice. The time has come for us to practice what we have created. The time is now to resist in honor of Marsha P. Johnson. Islan Nettles. Cemia Dove. Amber Monroe. Penny Proud. Ashley Sherman and so many others. The time is now to join #BlackLivesMatter in action as we celebrate our sisters who are living- the very sisters who have fought next to us to sustain this declaration that has been heard around the world.

We don't show up and show out for cis black people for accolades, or to insure that they show up for us. We have shown up for cis black folk because we know “that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We show up for cis black folk because as a black person, we know that if they will kill my siblings, they will kill us. We have shown up for black cis people when black cis people are contributing to the violence we face as black trans women. We have shown up for Black cis folk when the face of violence for a black trans woman is often a black cis man. No longer can we move through society ashamed of the trans people who come from us. Before we were trans, before we were queer, before we were anything we were black. Our Black Lives Matter whether you are ashamed or not.

The creation of #SayHerName was not just a hashtag, it is a call to action. It is the demand that we hold space for our most marginalized. We urge that in our time of great collective grief, we take the time to process and feel but also uplift the black trans women who are still living. Reach out to your black trans sisters, remind us that we are loved and sustain that love through service to our empowerment. Be with us in protecting black trans lives. Build community with black trans women. Uplift black trans leadership. Extend humanity and love to black trans women. Be with us and be of service. We might as well stop fighting, if we can't show up for the people in our community who need us the most.

We have all been called to take bold direct action by black trans women. That action is more than a retweet or share of the names of black trans women who have been murdered but to organize with vigor in solidarity. We are calling for support from all #BlackLivesMatter chapters,and all black organizers committed to black liberation to join us in our fight towards liberation this Thursday, August 20th, 2015 at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST for a National Call of Solidarity to take action for our lives. Please register for the call using this link:

In Black Revolutionary Love,

Elle Hearns, Ahya Simone, Aaryn Lang
Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi


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