Stop Killing Us

If you joined us at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally this year you know how powerful it was. Black trans artist Mila Jam opened up the event by singing the national anthem, while an honor guard comprised only of trans service members and veterans presented the colors. In front of the stage, transgender community members sat facing the audience holding signs with the names, faces, and ages of each of the trans people that had been murdered this year. Each speaker at the rally addressed the need to support trans youth, trans asylum seekers, and called out to end the violence targeting black trans women. Mila Jam returned to the stage to sing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ as those holding the signs stood and lifted up the images of our fallen. 

We are living through an administration that has uplifted misogyny, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia. It is in this climate that a bullseye has emerged targeting human beings who reside at the intersection of this despicable Venn diagram and it’s aimed squarely at black trans women and transgender asylum seekers, something I was able to write more about this year in an op-ed featured in The Advocate.

Supporting our trans community means combating misogyny, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia. It also necessitates intentional efforts to support financial equity, employment, and access to health care. In response to the rising death toll of our trans community this year, San Diego Pride engaged a number of trans activists in the formation of a Trans Coalition in hopes that our agencies and organizers can better collaborate and coordinate around issues facing our trans siblings.

Trans visibility matters. On September 28, the National Trans Visibility March on DC will bring that visibility and a vital message to our nation’s capital. While we only had the resources to send a few in our community to participate in the march in DC directly, we are partnering with The Center and our Trans Coalition to host a viewing party of the Rally that morning here at the Pride office. I hope you can join us.

Our community needs to prioritize the fight for trans visibility, equality, equity, and inclusion. Twenty-four trans women of color have been killed or gone missing this year. Lives are literally at stake. The big and small actions each of us take every day can make a huge impact on combating transphobia and violence. As our trans community calls out #WeWontBeErased we must answer with action, so we can all live to see a world that includes all of us in our Legacy of Liberation.
Mila Jam sent San Diego Pride a message to share with our community about the upcoming Trans March in Washington.
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About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made him a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.