For this month's Bloody Awesome Award, we would like to put some much-needed focus on the systemic cultural erasure that Black transgender people have endured. The resistance and public demonstrations in working-class and poor urban neighborhoods among trans people of color in the 1960’s, including the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in 1966, arguably shaped the modern American LGBTQ rights movement. Even the 1969 Stonewell Uprising was instigated and supported by Black trans women Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, and drag king Stormé DeLarverie. We want to show our deepest appreciation for those who are working hard to create change in the world and are a significant part in the Black trans lives movement.
So, June’s Bloody Awesome Award goes to....
*drum roll, please*
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute! They have done exceptional work in protecting and defending the human rights of Black transgender people by organizing, advocating, developing transformative leadership, and promoting their collective power. The institute was founded both as a response to the murders of Black trans women and the exclusion from social justice issues, namely racial, gender, and reproductive justice.
The work they do is nothing short of inspiring. They encourage everyone to learn about who Marsha P. Johnson was and to explore our own visions, thoughts and presumptions. They seek to eradicate systemic, community, and physical violence that silences the communities from actualizing freedom, joy, and safety.
“We were created to elevate, support, and nourish the voices of BLACK trans people. Our community is made up of BLACK trans people and those committed to undoing white supremacy in all of its forms. Our space is intended for the sole purpose of bettering the BLACK trans community across the diaspora.”
We need to continue to speak up for Black trans lives
As the Black Lives Matter protests and media coverage slows down, it's important to continue to use our voices to speak up and raise awareness, particularly those who are not part of the less privileged. Let's remember to magnify our voices to support Black trans lives on social media, conversations and various platforms that each of us have access to. Sharing our very own learnings and resources with family and friends, while engaging in productive discussions, will have an enormous role in the fight for equality, inclusivity and bettering the black trans community as a whole. Let’s do our part to help demand justice. You can read more about what the Marsha P. Johnson Institute does and if possible, you can donate here.
Lunette has always, and will continue to, stand against discrimination, violence, oppression, inequality and help underprivileged communities and the environment from exploitation. Last May, Lunette attended a course run by a Finnish trans organization Trasek. The course covered the different kinds of challenges that transgender people face in their daily lives and how we can support transgender people with our own activities and take them into account in our communication.
Our team learned that all the challenges transgender people experience on a daily basis, are things that cis-people wouldn’t even think about as potential challenges, hence why a course like this was paramount in order to be informed advocates for transgender lives. Another important aspect was learning about the correct language, especially in customer service and communication, and how much it really matters to trans people that it is being applied. Lunette wants to create a safe space for transgender people and gender minorities in general, and we continue to further our knowledge and education in the future.
What has become evident, is that we must all continue to work to be better listeners and allies. It is an ongoing process that requires effort and time consistently, not just for the time being. How could we continue our journey in this sphere? Let us know if you have any suggestions for ways to better ourselves as community members and a business. Please leave comments below!