Saturday, October 1, 2016

TONIGHT! Culture & Resistance: A Night of Performance & Music to Urge Justice for Kayla Moore

Black Trans* Women's Lives Matter is co-sponsoring 'Culture & Resistance: A Night of Performance & Music to Urge Justice for Kayla Moore' (an unarmed Black trans woman killed by Berkeley police inside her own home. More info: www.JusticeForKaylaMoore.wordpress.com )

Where: Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, California
When: 7:30 pm (doors), 8:00 pm (program begins)
More info: Facebook event (HERE)
Tickets: Buy
HERE  - $15 day of / $10 advance

Join us to celebrate and honor Kayla Moore and build support her family. We welcome you to bring something to place on our altar for Kayla.

The night will feature:
~ Tasha, a one-woman play by Cat Brooks, based on the 2015 murder of Natasha McKenna by Virginia police. Followed by a talk-back with Kayla's sister Maria Moore and Cat Brooks.
~ Po' Poets from POOR Magazine.
~ Kaila Love, Berkeley-based rapper, singer and songwriter.

~ Gina Madrid aka Raw-G, Oakland based rapper, emcee

Sponsored by Justice 4 Kayla Moore, Anti Police-Terror ProjectBerkeley Copwatch, and Black Trans Women's Lives Matter.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#SayHerName Wakeisha, Kayla, Mitrise: Teach In and Speak Out on State Violence Against Black Women and Girls

"#SayHerName Wakeisha, Kayla, Mitrise:
Teach In and Speak Out on State Violence
 Against Black Women and Girls"
- 5:30pm - Welcoming community gathering
- 6pm - Teach In, invited speakers and healers, open mic
- 7pm to 8pm - Community drum circle hosted by S.H.I.N.E. Muwasi (a traditional African female drum and dance ensemble) and musical director Rene Fisher-Mims. Concludes with prayer vigil

Today cities across the U.S. and the world are coming together in solidarity to Say Her Name, honor Her life and to draw attention to the epidemic of police brutality, state sanctioned human rights violations and extreme male violence (both domestic and hate crimes) targeting Black women and girls. This call to action was put out by BYP100, Black Lives Matter Network, Project South, Ferguson Action and other activists and community members to expose and abolish state violence against ALL Black women and girls.

To find a #SayHerName action near your city please visit:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Black Lives Matter's National Call to Action: Trans Liberation Tuesday - Los Angeles Action: L.A. LIVE 4 Black Trans* LIVES

 L.A. LIVE 4 Black Trans* LIVES   

 L.A. Black trans* community organizers, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter​ National Team’s ‘Trans Liberation Tuesday’ emergency call to action, invite you to this local rally and action entitled 'L.A. LIVE 4 Black Trans* LIVES' which is in response to the escalating murders of Black trans* women in the U.S..

Time/Locations: Tuesday, August 25th. 6-8pm. 6:00pm: Convene at corner of Pico/Figueroa - 6:30pm: Sharing/testimonials – 7:00pm: RALLY at the entrance of L.A. LIVE highlighting Black trans* women and Black trans* femme speakers. Followed by a march and an action

In collaboration with Black Trans* Women's Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles, Familia: TQLM, Gender Justice LA, LAQR and local transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming community members/advocates, and supported by LGBQ and non-trans straight allies, this demonstration centers on the plight of Black trans* women’s lives who face the brunt of oppression and hostility while living on the intersections of violence.

 Chella Coleman is a Gender Justice L.A. organizer and the only Black trans woman on the bus during Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles’s Freedom Ride to the Movement for Black Lives convening in Cleveland, Ohio. She shares why she helped to co-organize this action, “The erasure of trans folks of color has always been tied to white supremacy. Now it’s time to come together to confront this violence in all its forms.”

 Edxie Betts, a trans femme of color and local rally co-organizer, notes the historical origins of anti-transfeminine violence, "For centuries we have attempted to reclaim our glory, dignity and power. And for centuries white domination's colonization has declared us savage, devils, uncivilized because we are simply "not them". This othering has been institutionalized and as pervasive as that indoctrination was, we are still here!”

How can a young woman’s natural birth challenge provoke such male brutality, state violence, transphobia and misogyny - from within and outside the Black community?” asks Ashley Love, a journalist, rally co-organizer and Black Trans* Women’s Lives Matter coordinator. “Hope rose for many after BLM’s #TransLiberationTuesday national Call-to-Unite-as-Black-Family-in-Solidarity encouraged non-trans Black men to condemn domestic violence and hate crimes against trans* women, thus uplifting their sister’s humanity. These terrifying attacks on ALL Black women may feel daunting, but our consoling Faith reassures us that our resilient sisterhood’s willpower to inspire peace and cultural compassion will no doubt surpass our oppressors’ reach.”

Today’s action highlights the internal and external struggles that Black trans* women (and Black trans femmes) experience by commemorating the lives of Black trans* women we've tragically lost in 2015 due to cisgender male violence. We'll also decry all the many forms of violence our Black trans* sisters simultaneously endure such as state violence, transmisogynoir, systematic misgendering, lack of basic human rights, institutionalized exclusion, sexual assault, domestic violence, the prison industrial complex, denial of life-saving transition-related healthcare and structural anti-Blackness.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Man Who Confessed To The NYPD In 2013 Of Murdering Black Trans Woman Islan Nettles Has Finally Been Arrested and Indicted, Yet Now James Dixon Pleads ‘Not Guilty’?

A Brooklyn man named James Dixon was arrested earlier today for the 2013 murder in Harlem of Islan Nettles, a 21 year-old Black woman of trans experience.  

Dixon, 24, has been indicted for both manslaughter and felony assault, and pled not guilty during today’s arraignment. However, Dixon’s not guilty plea is in complete contrast to his *written* and *video*confession of the crime he gave nearly two years ago. On August 21, 2013, just days after the attack, Dixon voluntarily turned himself in to the authorities and gave his admission of guilt statements to officers of the 32nd Precinct. Shockingly, he was still  released from custody and has been at large up until today’s arrest.

On August 17, 2013, Islan Nettles and her girlfriends were walking near Frederick Douglas Blvd and West 148th St in Harlem. A few men approached the women, including Dixon and his friend Paris Wilson, and soon began hurling transphobic and misogynistic words at Nettles. Things quickly escalated and ended with Dixon brutally beating Nettles to the point of her losing consciousness.

She died five days later in Harlem Hospital.

Let’s pray that the NYPD’s and the NYC court’s inadequate handling of this case back in 2013 doesn’t repeat itself this time around. Islan's family and friends have suffered enough and deserve peace. She was a beautiful young 21 year old girl just coming into her own and with big dreams.

Islan’s life mattered.

Dixon’s next court date is March 19th

Monday, February 16, 2015

[VIDEO] Trans Advocate Kristen Parker Speaks: Hypocrisy of Some Non-Trans Blacks Implying ‘Civil Rights’ Aren’t for Black Trans Women; Fatal Domestic Violence; Penny Proud; Media Misgendering the Deceased

Following the tragic murder last week in New Orleans of a 21 year old Black trans woman named Penny Proud, noted NYC trans advocate Kristen Parker quickly responded with a moving video commentary which was so unedited and emotionally powerful that it quickly went viral in many trans and ally circles.

Kristen is 33, from the Bronx and is currently the Program Coordinator of MCCNY’s Trans in Action. Towards the beginning of Kristen’s near five minute long video she exclaims,

We are human, we are here! There is nothing that you can do that is going to change the fact that I exist…There is nothing that you can do at this point that can stifle our voice. You can take one of us away and ten more will come!

Throughout the video Kristen reiterated her disdain for the double standard often seen in some non-trans African American individuals (including some Black churches, many hip hop lyrics, online comments sections, Black national/local non-profits and some racial social justice advocacy spaces) that imply that the civil rights movement’s recipients don’t include Black trans women (as if their lives don’t matter as much as non-trans Black lives).

Kristen said, During the civil rights movement everybody got together; we all had our civil rights problems. And guess what? We overcame - or so we thought. You would think that civil rights would apply to everyone. Every day I flick on the television or scroll down my news feed it’s yet another murder of a trans woman... Why can’t I just live dammit, why can’t I just be myself? People in my own [Black] community, as a Black person, talk about how ‘God doesn’t like’ me. Isn’t that the same sh*t that the white man said about your [freakin’] a*s just for the color of your skin!? So think about that sh*t before you feel that you need to give me ‘what God feels’ - Because the white man felt that ‘God inspired them’ to put your a*s ‘on a slave ship’!”

We reached out to Kristen to ask her why she felt her video resonated with so many trans people and for any additional thoughts.

Kristen tells Black Trans* Women’s Lives Matter (BTWLM):

The response has been amazing and I feel the support that the community has given me acknowledges what we are all thinking but can never truly form the words to say. I've also gotten some negative responses as well behind some of the things I touched on in the video, predominantly by males, of course.  

I know all too well some of the struggles we as trans women face, such as the violence often associated with intimate partners and domestic abuse.  It's sad to think that the ones we love can turn on us and be the ones to hurt us!

Another important point Kristen spoke of in her video was the media’s blatant misgendering of trans women after death:

“Not only that: Then you disrespect her in death by not acknowledging the fact of who she was as a person, as an individual. This goes to the media: How dare you!...If you’re going to report her death can’t you just give her the respect and respect her for the person that she is? The news, I just can’t with you anymore, you constantly disrespect us”

BTWLM asked Kristen to further describe the media’s problematic reporting of trans female homicide stories:
It’s hard enough to deal with the loss of a sister, but the media makes it worse by misgendering her, not respecting her chosen name and using incorrect gender pronouns. The media’s disrespectful coverage of murdered trans women sends the wrong message to society that it’s ok to dismiss our true gender.
A portion of Kristen’s closing statements:

“I know this video probably won’t even make a difference, but I had to put this video out there because I feel some kind of way, and my sisters, we feel some kind of way… When, damn it, as an American? Now, it’s already been set in place by the President, when is the rest of the world going to get on board and deal with it?”

- Learn more about Kristen’s advocacy w/ Trans in Action: http://www.mccnycharities.org/trans.html


Friday, January 16, 2015

'Nominate to Discriminate' (Open Letter Poem to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Regarding Their Problematic Oscar Nominations)

Black Trans Women's Lives Matter organizer Ashley Love congratulating actor David Oyelowo for his exemplary performance as Martin Luther King in 'Selma' during the post-Golden Globes festivities

Nominate to Discriminate
by Ashley Love
(An Open Letter Poem to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences Regarding Their Problematic Oscar Nominations)
The Academy’s Oscar actor nominations are all white this year

What is it about Black, Brown and Yellow that you fear?

David Oyelowo’s performance in Selma is the cream of the crop

'Selma' director Ava DuVernay's talent shines brightly on top

Yet your primarily all white male jury has shut them out

Seriously?  What are these "choices" truly about?

Is it studio politics, money related or a slap in the face?

Whatever the reasons, your actions are a total disgrace

Nominations were announced on Martin Luther King’s birthday

If he were alive I’m sure he’d have a whole lot to say

“I had a dream that awards would be based on merit alone,

That sinister politics and exclusion would not be condoned,

Jury demographics would accurately reflect the U.S. of A.,

This year at the Oscars will be a grey, colorless day”

The people are not accepting this diversity- lock-out

They’ve created #OscarsSoWhite, can you hear them shout?

Are you uncomfortable #BlackLivesMatter ain’t backing down?

Social justice movements shake this country’s ground

We don’t need golden statues to know our people’s worth

We’ve endured discrimination and ignorance ever since birth

Yet still we have organized to make the world a better place

For our resilience and spirit are blessed by God’s grace

All stories have value, be they Brown, Yellow or Black

Eyes of the enlightened behold the integrity you lack

It will take more than barring our heroes from your stage

To disempower the ever-growing resistance and rage

We’ll protest racism and police brutality until we see peace

From Selma to Ferguson, our movement will not cease

Enjoy the Oscars this year, though it’s truly a shame

To value politics before principle in this sham of a game

Goodbye and we hope that you can sleep well tonight

Sincerely, the People - fighting the good fight!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trans Day of Remembrance: Light a Candle To Remember. Light a Candle for Hope

Today is the annual Trans Day of Remembrance, where we honor the many transsexual, transgender or gender non-conforming people who lost their lives to violence. The high majority of trans* people murdered each year are Black and Latina women of transsexual experience.

We at Black Trans* Women's Lives Matter are sending warmth and love to all those who have lost a loved one due to male violence, transphobia and bigotry.

Please light a candle today to honor those we have lost and to shine a light on this epidemic so that things will get better.

(photo credit Tyler Grigsby). During Black Trans* Women's Lives matter vigil and national call for peace in Washington DC

 Our Light will wipe out all darkness.
Our Love will overcome all hate.
Our Determination Forward will surpass all backwardness

Our Hope for Change will overwhelm all fear based thinking and actions
Our Acts of Compassion will outnumber acts of violence
Our Community will inspire a more understanding and safer world

To find a vigil near you, please go to www.tdor.info