Black Lives Matters organizers across the country will hold rallies on Tuesday calling attention to the number of black trans women who have been murdered this year. The rallies will be organized and led by organizers who are black and cisgender—men and women whose gender identities matched their sex when they were born.
“Now is a call to action to get cis black people to stand up for black transgender lives,” said Aaryn Lang, a black trans woman based in New York who is calling on Black Lives Matter chapters across the country to organize rallies on Tuesday.
At least 20 transgender women have been killed this year, 14 of them black women. Lang said organizers decided to call on the Black Lives Matter movement to speak out after three black trans women were found dead in the span of a week earlier this month.
“Black trans women have been strategizing with the leaders of this movement but when we get killed there's no outrage. Now is the time to shut it down for black trans lives,” said Lang in a telephone interview on Monday.
The Black Lives Matter movement was founded by three black queer woman who have been explicit about including black trans women in their campaign. “Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum,” reads a sentence on the Black Lives Matter website ‘about me’ page.
Currently there are rallies set in five cities: Houston, Dayton, Nashville, Chicago, Columbus, and Washington D.C. Organizers are also encouraging supporters online to participate by using the hashtag #BlackTransLivesMatter on social media.
“We say the names of Mya Hall, Kandis Capri, Elisha Walker, Shade Shuler, Ashton O’Hara, India Clark, Amber Monroe. We say the names of the black trans women whose lives have been cut short and demand that our cisgender family acknowledge that all Black Lives Matter,” said Elle Hearns, Black Lives Matter strategic partner and a coordinator at GetEqual, an LGBT civil rights organization.
Lang said more cities were expected to announce rallies later on Monday. Details about the currently listed events are listed below:
Online: 4:00 EDT on Twitter
Follow hashtags #BlackTransLivesMatter #TransLiberationTuesday on Twitter
Wednesday, August 25th at 6:00 CDT
Hermann Park Conservancy
Tuesday, August 25 at 6:00pm EDT
Dayton Courthouse Square in Dayton, Ohio
Tuesday August 25th at 1pm ET
Church Street and 12th Street
Tuesday August 25th at 6pm
Pico and Figueroa
Black Trans Lives + Labor
Tuesday at 5:30pm
1255 S Halsted, Chicago, IL
Tuesday, August 25 at 5:00pm EDT
City of Columbus - City Hall
Tuesday, August 25 at 6:00PM PST
Civic Center Plaza
Tuesday, August 25 at 7:00pm EST
Tuesday, August 25 at 6:30pm EDT
Franklin Square (14th & K)
Additional cities have been added since this story was originally published. Locations and times are listed below: