On June 1, a black trans woman named Iyanna Dior was viciously beaten in Minneapolis by a group of about 20 men while bystanders watched and did nothing.

Dior survived the attack but the gruesome video footage of the incident has left many advocating the importance of including black trans women in the Black Lives Matter movement.

One such advocate is the famous transgender rights activist and writer/director/producer of Pose, Janet Mock, who addressed Dior in an open letter on Instagram.

She wrote,

“Our fight for black lives will not be in sacrifice of you or our sisters. We must stop centering cisgender heterosexual men and their needs. We will not ignore the violence some of these men enact on you, our sisters’ and our siblings’ lives. If Black lives matter then Black trans lives should matter as well. We are here. We been here.”

She added,

“We need our black cisgender siblings to roll up RIGHT NOW. You ain’t no ally. You are family. We are your family.”

As people across the nation protest George Floyd’s death, many activists have called for more inclusion of black trans women, whose deaths often go unnoticed and underreported. The Black Lives movement tends to focus on the deaths of black cisgender heterosexual men while often ignoring the deaths of black cis women and black trans women.

Black trans women are among the most vulnerable community in our country. At least 20 black trans women were murdered in the United States in 2019 alone, merely because they were transgender.

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