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To Dallas Transgender Women of Color, We See You

A black-and-white photo of people marching in the street and holding protest signs. The most visible sign says "Black trans lives matter".

It is past time for our Black community to stop hating on Black trans people and embrace us. It is time for Black political leaders to say ‘Black trans lives matter’, and back up their words with legislative action.

Monica Roberts, Author of TransGriot and Black Trans Advocacy Media Chair

Trans women in Texas are scared, angry, and disappointed. We’re tired of not feeling safe and feeling less protected under laws which should protect ALL! We are tired of being looked at as statistics when we are clearly a key part of the greater community. After the recent events in Dallas and across this country such as murders, hate crimes, and even the erasure of rights for us as trans folks, we will not be silent! We will not sit still! We will rise up as we’ve done each and every other time! Be strong my sisters, brothers, all my siblings! Strength in many ways has got us through life, and life has got us through this journey called our transition.

Dee Dee Watters, Chair of Black Transwomen Inc.

(Thursday, June 6, 2019)

A day after Dallas Pride, on Monday, Chynal Lindsey was found dead. Early reporting points to murder. Say her name: Chynal Lindsey. She was only 26 years old and a Black transgender woman.Chynal was killed just two weeks after Muhlaysia Booker, another Black transgender woman was shot and killed in Dallas.

Black Trans Lives Matter.

We see you, Dallas transgender women of color. We mourn with you, we see your anger and your pain. We are deeply concerned and worried. We are scared, too.

The National LGBTQ Task Force team has been on the ground in Dallas since earlier this year, organizing in advance of our next Creating Change Conference. Our conference is a learning and healing program. We want it to be a value to local and national activists, which is why we have been reaching out in Dallas. We want to assist in moving your great work forward.

But, for now, we want you to know that we see you and love you and we care.

In our modern activist movement, transgender women of color play pivotal roles.Trans women of color have led some of the most transformational organizing, always envisioning a way forward that improves life for everyone. Not only did they lead the Stonewall riot 50 years ago that sparked Pride, but they also are leaders in sex work decriminalization advocacy, they are countering the Trump administration’s institutional violence, and most notably trans women of color have lived new possibilities into the world for people of all genders and are still paying the greatest costs.

Without you, there is no modern LGBTQ rights movement and we honor that. We see you.

This Pride season, we are called to celebrate the lives and mourn the premature deaths of Chynal Lindsey, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Washington, Johana Medina Leon, and those whose names we do not know. As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we have the opportunity to honor our transgender and nonbinary ancestors for living authentically and courageously—it is their resistance that has delivered us to this moment.

We are also called to honor our internal voices, sometimes to sing loud, out loud in front of everyone in a protest or a parade.

What we can not do is let our pain cause inaction. We want you and need you to Be You. You make our movement better and our lives better. We see you.