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Pride 2020: Black & Trans; Proud & Resilient

On Pride month, TGEU joins the global call for racial justice and demands an end to racial violence and police brutality.

Today, as many Black trans people lose their lives to police brutality and structural violence, silence is a luxury we cannot afford. We can no longer remain spectators; the struggles for racial justice and trans liberation are interconnected. May we be reminded that if any amongst us are affected, we are all impacted.

TGEU wishes to centre the voices of Black trans people and go back to the origins of Pride. The Stonewall riots in 1969, mainly led by LGBTQ+ people of colour such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were about resisting police brutality and oppression. Fifty-one years later, many Black trans lives continue to be cut short by institutional and police violence.

Trans people living at the intersections of other marginalised identities, particularly Black trans women, experience unique barriers to safety. The everyday realities of Black trans people are dominated by violence perpetrated by law enforcement agents and reproduced by discriminatory policing and racial profiling. This situation is even worse for Black trans women sex workers and Black trans people working in informal economies. Furthermore, Black trans refugees and asylum seekers also face structural violence in heavily policed and militarised areas such as border controls and migration offices.

Globally, police brutality remains a significant threat to the safety and lives of many Black trans people. TGEU demands robust commitment and immediate actions by states to end racist, discriminatory, and violent structures that fortify the oppression of Black trans people.

We call upon our non-Black communities and allies to move beyond embracing intersectionality as a principle and to join efforts in fighting to end and condemn white supremacy. There is a need to do self-analysis and commit to concrete actions against racism, prejudice, and violence in our homes, societies, and communities.

We also strongly urge non-Black activists and organisations to advocate for racial justice and for an end to the culture of racist hate and structural violence. We encourage the support of wellness and safety of Black trans people, including clear action plans and support structures for the most vulnerable communities such as Black trans women and trans youth who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

As we celebrate Pride, we also celebrate the resilience of Black people everywhere. TGEU expresses solidarity and support to all Black trans lives.

Let this Pride month be a reminder of the sacrifices and resilience of Black trans communities. May we continue to draw inspiration from their acts of defiance against police impunity and repression. There is no justice unless and until we are all free.