“We don't live and we don't fight for one specific struggle. We live intersectional lives and so I think this movement has to reflect that. All of who we are, all of our dignity, and all of our brilliance.”
-Opal Tometi, Black Lives Matter
Gender and Black Lives
Black Lives Matter, a leading activist organization, was founded and is currently headed by three Black queer women: Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors. The organization explicitly includes the rights of “Black queer and trans folks” in its mission. In 2015, at least 20 trans women were murdered, most of them women of color.
Black Lives Matter has held rallies specifically focused on ending violence against Black trans women. According to co-founder Alicia Garza, the group “centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.”
Alicia Garza Addresses Intersectionality in RadTalks Series
“Black bodies were the first currency of this nation. And so as such, we are uniquely positioned to transform this nation.” -Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter
Justice for Black Women
Like Black Lives Matter, #SayHerName is a racial justice movement specifically devoted to ending police violence against African American women, including Black trans women who are disproportionately targeted. It began after the deaths of women such as Sandra Bland and Mya Hall, both killed by police officers.
Watch poet Aja Monet read her poem “Word Warriors” to learn more about #SayHerName
National Recognition of the Movement
Alicia Garza along with Black Lives Matter and Campaign Zero activist DeRay Mckesson were named to Out magazine’s annual Out100, a list that pays tribute to the year’s “most compelling LGBT people.” Mckesson, who has played an influential role in civil rights activism since the formation of Black Lives Matter, recently announced his candidacy for the 2016 mayoral election in Baltimore, Maryland.
Watch Mckesson’s poetic and inspirational address at a 2015 GLAAD gala in San Francisco; “Our work as organizers is neither to tell people whispering to shout or to tell them to be quite, our job is to listen better...we have never been the voiceless, we have been the unheard”: