MetroFocus: July 7, 2020

Encore: June 07, 2021

The fight for justice by the LGBTQ community and the Black community have been intertwined from the beginning. But, at no point have black trans people shared fully in the gains of racial justice or LGBTQ activism, despite suffering disproportionately from the racism, homophobia and transphobia these movements exist to combat. While LGBTQ people have secured many legal rights and protections, black transgender women are still killed so often that the American Medical Association has declared it an epidemic. According to the Human Right’s Campaign, Last year, 91 percent of the transgender or gender-nonconforming people who were fatally shot were black women. And the recent killings of Black trans women Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and Riah Milton, shortly after that of black trans man Tony McDade, are among the 15 documented deaths this year alone of trans and gender-nonconforming people. Now, as the two movements are pulled together black trans people are mobilizing more visibly than ever before. Tonight, Elle Hearns, American transgender rights activist, and founder of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, where she serves as executive director, joins us for an important and timely discussion about this special moment in history that advocates say is long overdue.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS.'

WITH RAFAEL, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR, AND PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, JODY AND JOHN, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT AND TEINA STONE FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME.

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

NO QUESTION THAT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT HAS RAISED AWARENESS AROUND MATTERS OF RACIAL INJUSTICE, BUT UNTIL RECENTLY, THERE HAS BEEN A KEY VOICE MEETING, THAT OF BLACK TRANSGENDER PEOPLE, A COMMUNITY ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE TO DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE.

A RECENT STRING OF KILLINGS OF BLACK PEOPLE OF COLOR HAVE AT THAT DEMANDED THEIR PEOPLE BE HEARD, TOO, AND THERE HAS BEEN A CRY FOR BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER.

WITH THE RACIAL INJUSTICE AND LGBTQ, THEY HAVE NOT SHARED EQUALLY IN THE MOVEMENT.

SO TALKING WITH ME NOW IS A TRANSGENDER RIGHTS ACTIVIST, CO-FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE BLACK LIVES MEMBER NETWORK AND THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE MARSHA P. JOHNSON INSTITUTE.

WELCOME.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

FIRST I WANT TO START OFF WITH THE ROLE OF BLACK TRANS WOMEN.

WHAT IS THE ROLE THEY HAVE PLAYED IN NOT ONLY THE PRIDE MOVEMENT BUT ALSO IN BLACK LIVES MATTER?

ABSOLUTELY.

THERE HAS BEEN NO MOVEMENT THAT BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMEN HAVEN'T BEEN A PART OF.

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THAT WHETHER THAT'S POLICE BRUTALITY, VIOLENCE.

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MORE IMPACTED THAN THE MAJORITY OF MOST PEOPLE.

THAT ALWAYS GIVES US A REASON TO RESIST.

I THINK FOR ME I CAME INTO THE MOVEMENT AS SOMEONE THAT RECOGNIZED I WAS VERY VULNERABLE IN THE WORLD.

IN ORDER TO NOT HAVE THOSE EXIST, I KNEW THAT I HAD TO ORGANIZE.

I THINK VERY MUCH SO THAT WAS THE REALITY IN 1969 WHEN MARSHA P. JOHNSON AND OTHER NOTABLE BLACK TRANS PEOPLE WERE TARGETED.

NOT JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE TRANS AND CLEAR, BUT SEGREGATION WAS A REALITY IN 1969.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MOVEMENT WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEPARATE RACE, CLASS AND GENDER AND NO GROUP HAS EXPERIENCED IT AT DISPROPORTIONATE LEVEL AS BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMEN.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE TO ME A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE OF INTERSECTIONALITY AND WHY BLACK TRANSGENDER WOMEN FIND THEMSELVES IN SUCH A VULNERABLE PERSON.

IT IS BROUGHT BY KIMBERLY CRENSHAW.

WE ATTRIBUTE HER BRILLIANT THINKING TO THE POPULARITY OF THE WORLD.

AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IT EXISTS AS A WAY TO PROVIDE ANALYSIS AROUND DIFFERENT INTERSECTING FACTORS SUCH AS CLASS AND GENDER AND HOW THOSE CREATE CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE WORLD.

I THINK SHE DEFINES HER WORD BEST SO I NEVER TRY TO DEFINE IT OR REDEFINE IT.

THERE IS ENOUGH REFERENCE IN THE WORLD TO GET AN ACCURATE DEPICTION OF WHAT SHE MEANT WHEN SHE SAID INTERSECTIONALITY.

HOWEVER, AS A WOMAN WHO HAS ORGANIZED WITH BLACK TRANSGENDER PEOPLE FOR YEARS, I KNOW THERE ARE CULTURAL NORMS THAT ENCOURAGE CERTAIN CULTURAL AND POLITICAL BELIEFS THAT CERTAINLY DISCARD BLACK TRANS PEOPLE FROM NOT ONLY HAVING ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY, BUT ACCESS TO OUR OWN HUMANITY AND BEING ABLE TO DEFINE FOR OURSELVES WHAT WE NEED TO SURVIVE.

WHETHER THAT'S WORK OR FAMILY OR COMMUNITY.

THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO FIND BASED ON WHAT THE UNDERSTANDING IN SOCIETY IS BASED ON WHAT'S NORMAL, WHO IS NORMAL, WHO IS PURE.

BLACK TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IN THE SAME WAY AS OTHER PEOPLE ARE, WHETHER THOSE ARE MEN, WHITE WOMEN.

THE REALITY FOR BLACK TRANS PEOPLE IS THAT WE ARE ALWAYS ON THE OUTSIDE AND ALWAYS CREATING OUR OWN SPACE FOR OUR OWNSELVES.

ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ANY PARTICULAR MOVEMENT IS TO BE ABLE TO CLEARLY BE ABLE TO NAME EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THEY ARE HOPING TO CHANGE.

I AM WONDERING IF AS YOU TALK ABOUT CERTAIN CULTURAL NORMS OR EXPECTATIONS, COULD YOU EXPAND AND EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT?

ABSOLUTELY.

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AN ABSOLUTIONIST MOVEMENT.

MEANING THAT BLACK SUPREMACY ARE STRUCTURED THAT ARE NOT ONLY BEING INTERRUPTED, BUT ABOLISHED.

WE ARE SEEING CALLS FOR A DEFUND OF POLICE TO HAPPEN.

THAT IS AN ABLSOLUTIONIST DEMAN WHICH IS ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO BE TR CONTROLLED WITHOUT RESOURCES TO BE SAFE.

SO INSTEAD OF INVESTING $640 MILLION INTO A POLICE FORCE, WE CAN INVEST $640 INTO A COMMUNITY TO HELP BETTER AND SUSTAIN LIVES.

THE AVERAGE AGE OF A BLACK TRANS WOMAN WILL LIVE TO BE 35 YEARS OF AGE.

THOSE ARE STATISTICS THAT SHOULD NOT ONLY MAKE EVERY ONE FALL OUT OF THEIR SEAT AND BURN SOMETHING, BUT THOSE ARE STATISTICS THAT WHAT ARE THE CLTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF HOW THESE NUMBERS SHOW UP IN OUR OWN LIVES AND OUR ABILITY TO TAKE ACTION AND BE ABLE TO TRUST OURSELVES TO TAKE ACTION AND BE SURE WE ARE BUILDING A WORLD THAT IS BIGGER THAN JUST FOR US BUT FOR EVERYBODY.

I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THIS RESISTANCE IS ESSENTIAL.

PEOPLE ARE NOT ONLY ANGRY AND FULL OF RAGE, BUT THEY HAVE SOLUTIONS.

SO PEOPLE HAVE TO INVEST OUR BELIEF IN THE SOLUTIONS SO THEY CAN BECOME REALITY FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE BEING IMPACTED THE MOST.

BEING ONE OF THE FOUNDERS AND CO-DIRECTORS OF THE MARSHA P.

JOHNSON INSTA ITUTE, COULD YOU TELL ANYONE WHO MAY NOT KNOW, WHO WAS MARSHA P. JOHNSON, NOT ONLY WHO SHE WAS BUT HOW WAS SHE RECEIVED BY THE PRIDE MOVEMENT.

AGAIN LATE '60s AND EARLY '70s.

WHO WERE SOME OF THE TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR WHO WERE WITH HER.

A NAME T--

SHE WAS AN ORGANIZER AND BRILLIANT STRATEGIST AND TRANSPARENT AROUND HER DESIRES FOR EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL DAY PEOPLE.

SHE IS SOMEONE WHO IDENTIFIED OFTEN AS SOMEONE WHO WAS A TRANSSEXUAL, A DRAG QUEEN, A GAY MAN, SHE USED ALL OF THIS LANGUAGE TO ENCAPSULATE WHAT THE FULL EXPERIENCE OF HER LIFE HAD BEEN.

THAT'S WHY SHE IS SUCH A FORMIDABLE FIGURE IN OUR HISTORY.

SHE WAS OFFERING ALL OF THESE EXPERIENCES AT A PIVOTAL TIME WHEN HISTORY WAS SHAPING ITSELF AND REIMAGINING HOW WE WANTED SOCIETY TO BE.

SHE WAS ON THE FRONT LINE AND VERY UNAPOLOGETIC ABOUT HER DEMANDS.

WE CONSIDER HER DEMANDS NORMAL.

THEY WERE DEMANDS AROUND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EVERYONE, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR THE MISFITS.

MARSHA WAS JOINED BY RIVERA AND MANY OTHER NAMES WE DON'T KNOW.

THAT'S PART OF THE TRAGEDY OF OUR HISTORY OF BLACK TRANS PEOPLE, A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE DIDN'T GET TO LIVE TO TODAY TO TELL THOSE STORIES.

SO PART OF OUR GOAL OF THIS ORGANIZATION IS TO BE ABLE TO TELL THOSE STORIES IN OUR OWN WAY WITHOUT FITTING UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF SOMEONE ELSE'S.

THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ORGANIZATIONS FOR TRANSGENDER PEOPLE, S.T.A.R.

SO ALL OF THE ORGANIZING IS REFLECTIVE OF THAT LEGACY, A LOT OF US INCLUDING AT THE MARSHA P.

JOHNSON INSTEITUTE ARE JUST CARRYING ON.

IS IT NOT JUST CREATING A SPACE FOR BLACK TRANS PEOPLE OF COLOR NOW OR IS IT ALSO ABOUT TEACHING THE HISTORY?

WHILE WE KNOW NOW THAT MARSHA P.

JOHNSON WAS ACTIVE IN THE PRIDE MOVEMENT, WAS THERE AT STONEWALL, ET CETERA.

IT SEEMED AS IF HER NARRATIVE HAD BEEN, AT LEAST TEMPORARILY, LOST TO TIME.

IS THAT PART OF THE PURPOSE OF THE INSTITUTE?

YES.

NOT ONLY ARE WE AN ORGANIZATION THAT EXISTS TO SUPPORT MOVEMENT, BUT WE ARE A HISTORY ORGANIZATION.

WE HAVE BEEN CHRONICLING THE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR ME AND MANY OTHERS.

FOR US WE ARE A HISTORY ORGANIZATION, BUT ALSO AN ORGANIZATION THAT IS REALLY ENCOURAGING OUR MEMBERS AND COMMUNITIES TO REALLY THINK BIGGER AROUND THE WORLD WE WANT TO BE IN.

SO THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK IS ONE OF THE GREAT STRENGTHS ABOUT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS IS THEY FILL IN THE GAPS WHERE OUR POLITICIANS FAIL AND MAYBE WHERE OUR CHURCHES FAIL.

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS CREATE A SPACE TO NOT ONLY TELL OUR HISTORY AND BE IN COMMUNITY WITH EACH OTHER, BUT IMAGINE A NEW WAY IN THE WORLD WHERE WE DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING ERASED FROM MOVEMENTS THAT WE STARTED OR TRYING TO FIT INTO MOVEMENTS THAT ARE POPULAR BECAUSE WE HAVE OUR OWN AND WE ARE VERY PROUD TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO ARE AFTER THEIR OWN, BUT ALSO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING IN COLLABORATION WITH EACH OTHER.

> I'M SPEAKING WITH EL, THE FOU FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECT FOR OF THE MARSHA P. JOHNSON INSTITUTE.

I WANT TO BRING UP A DISTURBING S STATISTIC YOU BROUGHT UP EARLIER.

THAT THE AVERAGE AGE OF A TRANSGENDER BLACK WOMAN IS 35, IS THAT CORRECT?

YES, THESE STATISTICS ARE OUT THERE.

THERE HAVE BEEN MULTIPLE SURVEYS THAT HAVE SUGGESTED SPECIFIC INFORMATION AND DATA AROUND THE BLACK TRANS COMMUNITY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS INCLUDING THE HORRIFIC INTENSITY IN THE MURDERS.

A REPORT WAS PUT OUT CALLED ERASED THAT CHRONICLES ALL OF THE DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE MURDERS SINCE 2010.

THOSE ARE SOME REPORTS THAT WE REFERENCE IN OUR WORK, BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO REFERENCE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN DIRECTLY ORGANIZING AROUND THEM SO WE KNOW WHAT THE REALITY IS.

UNFORTUNATELY, AMONGST THE AGE OF THOSE KILLED AND MURDERED, MOST RECENTLY A 17-YEAR-OLD IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS WAS MURDERED.

WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT OUR SOCIETY WHEN A 17-YEAR-OLD IS MURDERED BECAUSE THEY ARE BLACK AND TRANS.

> IN THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT IT'S EASY TO POINT OUT THE DICHOTOMY OF WHAT'S GOING ON.

YOU HAVE BLACK LIVES, YOU HAVE POLICE OFFICERS, A LOT OF ACCUSATIONS THAT POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT TREATING BLACK LIVES IN AMERICA FAIRLY, JUSTLY OR GIVING THEM EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW.

BUT IS THAT THE SAME THING WITH BLACK TRANSPEOPLE, PARTICULARLY BLACK TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR?

OR IS IT MORE COMPLICATED AND NUANCED?

MORE NUANCED, NOT COMPLICATED.

THE SAME SYSTEMS THAT ARE KILLING BLACK PEOPLE AT THE THE HANDS OF THE POLICE ARE THE SAME SYSTEM ENCOURAGING THE MURDER OF BLACK TRANS WOMEN.

SO THERE IS NO REALITY OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A POOR BLACK PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY.

THE PEOPLE AFFECTED BY PLUS BRUTALITY ARE NOT MULTIMILLIONAIRES, NOT PEOPLE HEAVILY RESOURCED TO MAYBE HAVE A DIFFERENT REALITY, AND EVEN IF THEY ARE, BLACK PEOPLE ARE STILL BEING MURDERED, SO WHETHER AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE OR COMMUNITY.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND IS THESE MURDERS ARE HAPPENING DURING A TIME WHEN WE ARE FACING A PANDEMIC.

THE REALITY IS THAT THE BLACK COMMUNITY HAS EXPERIENCED MANY EPIDEMICS, WHETHER THE MURDER OF BLACK TRANS WOMEN, AIDS, SEGREGATION, SO THE IDEA THAT BLACK STRUGGLE IS HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF THE SYSTEM IS NOT TRUE.

ANTI-BLACK SHOWS UP IN LGBTQ PLACES, SHOWS UP IN THE WHITE COMMUNITY, IN ALL OF US.

IT'S IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY AS YOU THINK ABOUT STATE VIOLENCE, WHAT THE ROLE OF THE STATE IS POSED TO BE VERSUS WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS.

THE STATE HAS NEVER KEPT ANY OF US SAFE.

THE STATE HAS ONLY RESPONDED TO UNSAFE CONDITIONS IN THE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE RAVAGED BY POVERTY AND ALSO BY A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE AROUND WHAT IS ANTI-BLACK AND WHAT IS TRANSPHOBIA AND HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THE WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES.

AS SOMEONE WHO IS ALSO A CO-FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE BLACK LIVES MEMBER NETWORK, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE ARGUMENT THAT, WELL, BLACK TRANS PEOPLE ARE BLACK PEOPLE, TOO, SO A RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL SHIPS.

IF WE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS OF ALL BLACK PEOPLE, WOULDN'T THAT HELP THE BLACK PEOPLE WHO ARE TRANS?

THE REALITY IS THAT WE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING FOR BLACK PEOPLE.

WHEREVER YOUR SPACE IS IN THE MOVEMENT, WE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING FOR BLACK PEOPLE.

SO, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND.

WE ALL HAVE A DIFFERENT CROSS TO BEAR AS IT RELATES TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD.

THERE ARE NECESSARY SHIFTS AND THERE IS NECESSARY ACTION THAT WE ALL MUST TAKE, AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR BLACK TRANS PEOPLE IN PARTICULAR TO UNDERSTAND THE POWER WE HAVE WITH EACH OTHER WHICH IS WHY THE MARSHA P.

JOHNSON INSTITUTE EXISTS SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIT INTO ANYBODY ELSE'S MOVEMENT.

WE HAVE OUR OWN.

> WHAT DO YOU SEE IN TERMS OF THE UNDERSTANDING -- I MEAN YOU SPOKE ABOUT MARSHA P. JOHNSON AND THE LANGUAGE USED TO DESCRIBE HERSELF BECAUSE LANGUAGE AROUND WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUAL WAS STILL EVOLVING.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS EVOLVING AROUND ISSUES OF NOT JUST BEING TRANSGENDER, BUT ALSO BEING IN THAT INTERSECTION OF BEING BLACK AND TRANSGENDER?

I THINK PEOPLE ARE BECOMING MORE AWARE OF WHAT IS DEFINED AN ISSUE IN SOCIETY.

HOWEVER, I DON'T THINK THAT PEOPLE REALLY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING AROUND THE JOY AND BRILLIANCE OF THE COMMUNITY.

SO I THINK CULTURALLY WE ONLY UNDERSTAND THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE DOWN ON THEIR LUCK.

THAT'S THE ONLY WAY WE CAN BE IN COMMUNITY IS BEING IN SERVICE TO THEM AS OPPOSED TO THIS IS A COMMUNITY THAT CAN SERVE ITSELF AND THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO PRACTICE TEACHING OUR MEMBERS AROUND COLLABORATIVE SOLIDARITY WHICH INVITES MEMBERS INTO A LIFELONG DCOLLABORATION AS OPPOSED TO MAYBE DOING ONE OR TWO GOOD THINGS AND MOVE ON TO A DIFFERENT SOCIAL CAUSE.

THE REALITY IS THAT COLLABORATIVE SOLIDARITY IS NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER.

EVERYONE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVEST IN THAT.

A REAL WAY THAT EXTENDS ITSELF BEYOND -- AND THAT LITERALLY BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE AND PRACTICE IN OUR EVERYDAY CIRCUMSTANCES.

I THINK COLLABORATIVE SOLIDARITY IS A GREAT WAY TO LEAD INTO MY OTHER POINT.

THE BEST WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO EXPR EXP EXPRESS ALLISHIP.

WE ARE SEEING A MOVEMENT WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WEREN'T PART OF BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT OR PERHAPS WEREN'T PART OF THE TRANS LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT ARE NOW WANTING TO JOIN AND SHOW ALLYSHIP.

WHERE ARE THE RESOURCES THAT PEOPLE CAN GO TO?

THERE ARE SO MANY.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AROUND THE MARSHA P. JOHNSON INSTITUTE IS DONATE.

WE ARE AN ORGANIZATION THAT DEPENDS ON THE SUPPORT OF OUR COMMUNITY TO STAY SUSTAINABLE AND STAY IN ACTION.

SO THAT'S ONE OF THE WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR WORK.

YOU CAN CERTAINLY SUPPORT ENSURING THAT YOUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ARE ALSO SUPPORTING BY DONATING AND GIVING THEIR TIME BY VOLUNTEERING TO SUPPORT CAUSES THAT MAYBE YOU NEVER SUPPORTED BEFORE.

NOW IT'S TIME TO DO SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE.

WE ARE WALKING AROUND WITH MAPS TRYING TO SAVE OUR LIVES.

THAT'S NOT THE ONLY ACT THAT IS POSSIBLE THIS TIME AROUND, DOING LIFE-SAVING WORK.

ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS KEY FOR PEOPLE DURING THIS TIME IS TO REALLY EDUCATE YOURSELF.

EDUCATE YOURSELF AROUND THE ISSUES YOU CONSIDER ISSUES.

I DON'T CONSIDER LIFE-SAVING WORK IN PEOPLE'S SURVIVAL AS AN ISSUE.

I FEEL LIKE THOSE ARE NECESSITIES AND THINGS WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT AS HUMAN BEINGS.

BUT I KNOW EVERYONE DOESN'T FEEL THAT WAY.

IF YOU THINK THIS IS A POLITICAL ISSUE, YOU SHOULD EDUCATE YOURSELF, WHY IS CAPITALISM SOMETHING BLACK TRANS PEOPLE CAN'T ACCESS HEESPECIALLY WHEN U HAVE THE MEANS TO DONATE.

DONATE, VOLUNTEER AND EDUCATE.

AND MAYBE EVEN ADD IN SOME POLITICAL PIECES.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE SUPPORTING THE DEMANDS OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE CALLING FOR NOT ONLY THE FIRES OF OFFICERS, BUT ALSO THE DEFUNDING AND ABOLISHING OF THE POLICE.

THOSE ARE COMMUNITY DEMANDS THAT PEOPLE CAN LEND THEIR VOICES TO BY CALLING THEIR LOCAL AND STATE POLITICIANS AND ALSO SIGNING PETITIONS AND ALSO SHOWING UP AT RALLIES AND ALL OF THE DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES THAT PEOPLE ARE ORGANIZING DURING THIS TIME TO NOT ONLY ENCOURAGE OUR MOVEMENT TO BE BIGGER AND BRIGHTER THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN, BUT TO KEEP ENCOURAGING IT TO CONTINUE BECAUSE WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS THE EFFORTS 20, 30 DAYS FROM NOW, 60, 90 DAYS FROM NOW.

IT'S BEAUTIFUL TO SEE ALL OF THE ACTIVITY IN THE STREETS, BUT WE HAVE TO KEEP IT GOING AND ALIGN OURSELVES SO WE DO NOT LEAVE ROOM FOR ANY INTERRUPTIONS INTO THE AGENDA OF LIBERATION FOR ALL PEOPLE, BUT ESPECIALLY BLACK TRANS PEOPLE.

PEOPLE ARE HEARING ALL OF THIS AND READING BOOKS.

WHAT DOES THERE LOOK LIKE WHEN WE FINALLY GET THERE AS A COUNTRY?

IT'S AN AUTONOMOUS SPACE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO BE ABLE TO DEFINE THEMSELVES FOR THEMSELVES.

TO HAVE ACCESS TO MAKING CHOICES AS RELATES TO THEIR BODIES IN THE COMMUNITIES WITHOUT THE POLICE AND GOVERNMENT BEING THE FINAL SAY.

SO I THINK WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD LIBERATION YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT THE POLICE NOT BEING ABLE TO KILL PEOPLE, BUT ALSO NOT HAVING THE RESOURCES TO CONTINUE TO BUILD AN ARMY OF POWER AGAINST INNOCENT AND PEOPLE WHO MIGHT NOT BE INNOCENT.

WE HAVE TO RETHINK WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALIVE AND TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE REQUIRE IN REGARDS TO THOSE WHO SHOULD BE PUNISHED.

DEATH SHOULD NEVER BE AN END ALL OPTION FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO WE MIGHT CONSIDER TO BE DANGEROUS IN SOCIETY.

BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT IS THE REGIME OF A GOVERNMENT THAT CERTAINLY DOES NOT WANT TO SEE BLACK PEOPLE EXIST.

THAT IS SOMETHING WE REALLY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND AROUND WHAT IS GOING ON.

EL, WE ARE COMING UP ON THE END OF OUR TIME, BUT I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN'T ASK YOU ABOUT THE RECENT SUPREME COURT DECISION IN REGARDS TO THE RIGHTS OF NOT ONLY LGBTQ PEOPLE, BUT HOW YOU SEE THAT IMPACTING THE COMMUNITY NOW THAT THE SUPREME COURT HAS WEIGHED IN.

IT'S LONG OVERDUE.

THE REALITY THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND STATE HAS HAD THE ABILITY TO MAKE DECISIONS AROUND PEOPLE'S LIVELIHOOD FOR THIS LONG SAYS SO MUCH ABOUT WHY A LIBERATION MOVEMENT IS TAKING PLACE.

BECAUSE THESE THINGS EXIST DEEPLY IN OUR WORKPLACES, IN OUR HOME AND ALSO IN OUR MIND.

THIS IS LONG OVERDUE AND THERE ARE SO MANY MORE DECISIONS THAT NEED TO BE MADE, NOT ONLY AT THE HANDS OF THE SUPREME COURT, BUT ULTIMATELY BY THE PEOPLE.

ALL RIGHT.

I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING TIME TO JOIN ME.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, FOR TALKING TO US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT, AGAIN, THE INTERSECTION OF BEING A BLACK TRANS PERSON AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, A BLACK TRANS WOMAN AND WHY THAT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR YOUR WORK TO SUPPORT THAT PARTICULAR GROUP.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND TELLING US MORE ABOUT MARSHA P. JOHNSON, A PIVOTAL CHARACTER OR PERSON IN THE FIGHT FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS.

THANK YOU.

YES, ABSOLUTELY.

AN HISTORIC PERSON IN OUR MOVEMENT HISTORY THAT WE ALL SHOULD KNOW AFTER THIS DAY, MOVING FORWARD.

I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING WITH ELLE HEARNE, A CO-FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER, AND THE FOUNDER OF THE MARSHA P. JOHNSON FUND.

> MADE POSSIBLE BY A PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, JODY AND JOHN AR ARNHOLD, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA STONE FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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