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Pride essay: How to win liberation for all LGBTQ people

by StormMiguel Florez

The author urges support for Black trans-led organizations.
The author urges support for Black trans-led organizations.  

I have been invited to write on what it means to be a San Francisco Pride community grand marshal in a time of COVID-19 and shelter-in-place. Since I was asked, Nina Pop, a Black trans woman, was murdered in Missouri; Toni McDade, a Black trans man, was murdered by Tallahassee, Florida police; Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman, was beaten by a mob of 30 men on camera in Minnesota; no cops have been arrested for murdering Black cis woman, Breonna Taylor [one officer was fired June 19]; and there has been an uprising like many of us have never seen in our lifetimes sparked by the murder of Black cis man, George Floyd.

As a non-Black trans person of color, it feels important to yield my voice and words to the people who continue to pave the way for our liberation: Black trans women.

Center, lift up, DONATE TO, and follow Black trans leadership.

- TGI Justice Project/TGIJP is a prison abolitionist organization in San Francisco, led by Executive Director Janetta Johnson. TGIJP centers Black trans women and supports TGI people coming out of jails and prisons with housing, resources, employment, and a family to come home to.

- TAJA's Coalition, led by Executive Director Akira Jackson, operates in the San Francisco Bay Area working to stop the genocide of trans women of color: "We organize trans women of color to demand better services from our city by advocating for themselves and for each other," the organization's GoFundMe page states.

- House of GG: Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat and Historical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, was founded by renowned trans revolutionary Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Its mission is to create programs, services, and resources that positively impact the lives, history, and visibility of transgender, gender-questioning, and gender-nonconforming people.

- The OKRA Project, based in New York City, is a Black trans and queer collective that offers Black trans people home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources.

- GLITS (Gays and Lesbians Living In a Transgender Society) is an organization in New York founded by and run by Ceyenne Doroshow. GLITS is raising money to house Black trans women who are coming out of Rikers Island.

- Trans Justice Funding Project, co-founded and led by Gabriel Foster, is a community-led initiative that funds grassroots trans justice groups run by and for trans people.

- Youth Breakout, based in New Orleans, works to end the criminalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to build a safer and more just New Orleans.

- Homeless Black Trans Women Fund started out as a fund to cover necessities for Black trans women living in Atlanta who are sex workers and/or homeless. Because of a huge influx of donations, it has grown into a "collective vision of creating a space in Atlanta that can provide short and long-term sustainable housing, mental/physical health services, and other resources, without the restrictions that often put girls back on the streets," its GoFundMe campaign page notes.

Take the time to learn about what #DefundThePolice means, how it's possible, and why it is the only answer to creating a culture and society where Black people are no longer targeted by cops and everyone is safer. Learn about #8toAbolition here.

StormMiguel Florez is a Xicanx trans filmmaker and one of this year's San Francisco Pride community grand marshals.

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