There is no movement for Black lives without empowering and centering Black trans people. Black trans people have always been at the forefront of leading the fight for Black liberation, even when not all movement spaces welcomed us. Our dreams for the Black community are big and expansive, beyond binaries and boundaries that oppressive systems may try and box us into.
Last year’s uprising in defense of Black lives and the voting out of white supremacy from the White House created an opening for Black trans liberation. In a reversal of four years of sustained harm, the new presidential administration claims it is a friend to the trans community and has rolled back some of the previous administration’s egregious policies.
Yet, 2021 has set a record for the worst year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in state legislatures, largely targeted at the trans community. 17 of these bills have already passed and will deny the rights of trans people in sports, education, healthcare and more. The intersection of anti-Black racism and anti-trans violence means that Black trans people will be worst affected by this growing anti-trans agenda. Meanwhile, Black immigrants, including those who identify as LGBTQ+, are being harmed by Biden’s failure to reverse Trump era deportations and criminalization.
These policy obstacles come amid continued anti-trans violence. Already in 2021, 25 trans and gender non-conforming people have been murdered, the majority of whom were Black or Latinx trans women. Black TGNCI people experience higher rates of both state and interpersonal violence and overall systemic injustice than other Black people.
In the face of what can feel like insurmountable death and injustice, we’ve been building our own power for years. We are leading organizing and cultural work across Black and TGNCI communities and beyond. We’re fighting back against anti-trans legislation while also building the future we want to live in, a future where all Black trans people are free.
We’re moving this work in partnership with the Movement for Black Lives. M4BL is fighting for Black trans futures. Across all we do, M4BL centers Black, queer and transfeminist perspectives. Black movement understands the future is Black, trans and gender non-conforming and that Black trans people have always shaped our movement and culture.
At M4BL, we’re committed to (un)learning, deepening our organizing and relationships with Black TGNCI leaders and identifying opportunities to move money and resources to Black TGNCI-led organizations and partners. We have a vision for Black lives that includes ending the war on Black TGNCI people and reimagining public safety through the BREATHE Act, centering the harm policing enacts on Black TGNCI communities.
Black TGNCI folks deserve a public policy that prevents the death and degradation of our lives and lets us thrive. It is not enough for murals or social media posts to declare that all Black lives matter; our laws should proclaim it daily. Already this year, Black LGBTQ+ immigrant organizers helped push the Biden administration to redesignate Temporary Protected Status or TPS to Haitian immigrants.
We’re proud of the new world we’re building — a beautiful one in which all Black people thrive, shine and love, free from violence, harm and hate. We call on Black people, trans people and our allies to support our work with money, time and resources. Get educated and activated by following the voices and perspectives of Black trans people.
Help dream and manifest Black TGNCI futures and build Black trans power. Imagine the bigger, more expansive world we’ll create for all of us, when Black trans people are truly free.