While Black trans women have played integral roles in both the LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, they have been invisibilized in both spaces. In May 2020, as people began mobilizing in response to the murder of George Floyd, Black trans activists also called attention to the murder of trans people like Dominique Fells and Riah Milton. On Sunday, June 14, approximately 15,000 people attended the Brooklyn Liberation March in response to the murders of Black trans people. Additionally, due to the organizing and leadership of Black trans people, contributions to individual fundraisers, bail funds, and grassroots organizations that serve Black trans communities increased significantly. It is important to note, however, that Black trans activists are not only demanding visibility. They are also demanding safety and care, and for resources to be redistributed from the police and white, mainstream LGBTQ+ organizations, back to Black and brown-led grassroots initiatives.
Authors: Isabella Grullón Paz and Maggie Astor