“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” – Marsha P. Johnson
Humans, we are Better Together and we have a responsibility to protect our friends and loved ones in the Black trans community. Authentic allyship happens not in our words, but in our eyes, ears, hearts, and action. We cannot accept a world that does not provide safety, acceptance, inclusion, and equality for Black lives, especially Black trans lives.
Marsha P. Johnson was a Black trans woman and an icon of the gay liberation movement. She helped create a world where we in the LGBTQ+ community could find ourselves and be ourselves. Without her, there would be no Pride.
But as a Black trans woman in the mid-20th century, Marsha P. Johnson was among the most vulnerable and oppressed, battling the harshest adversities. In 2020, there is an epidemic of violence against the trans and non-binary community with most of the lives lost being trans women of color. Just last month, two Black trans women were reported dead within 24 hours of one another. There have been 15 reported deaths of trans humans this year alone. One would be one too many, 15 is heartbreaking.
Of course, the violence against the Black trans community is only one piece. The LGBTQ Task Force’s most recent analysis Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey reports that:
- Black transgender people have an extremely high unemployment rate at 26%, two times the rate of the overall transgender sample and four times the rate of the general population.
- 41% of Black respondents said they have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, more than five times the rate of the general U.S. population.
- Black transgender people lived in extreme poverty with 34% reporting a household income of less than $10,000 per year. This is more than twice the rate for transgender people of all races (15%), four times the general Black population rate (9%), and eight times the general U.S. population rate (4%).
- Black transgender people were affected by HIV in devastating numbers. More than one-fifth of respondents were living with HIV (20.23%), compared to a rate of 2.64% for transgender respondents of all races, 2.4% for the general Black population, and 0.60% of the general U.S. population
This month, our nonprofit partner is the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. MPJI protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.
We are here, we are listening, and we are ready to get to work. Let's go.
"How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race?" – Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P. Johnson Institute
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute protects and defends the human rights of BLACK transgender people by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.