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black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: Cole Witter @colewitter

See photos of yesterday’s monumental rally for Black trans lives

Over 10,000 protestors gathered for the public show of support.

By
Collier Sutter
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On Sunday, thousands showed up in Brooklyn to rally and silently march in support of Black trans lives.

A sea of an estimated 10,000 people, clad in all-white attire, gathered in support of the movement outside the Brooklyn Museum. The event was co-organized by several trans-based support organizations, including the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Okra Project, Gays and Lesbians Living In a Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S), For The Gworls and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts.

Sunday's event was focused on Black trans women, and was held as an opportunity for the community to both mourn lives lost, and to speak out on violence and mistreatment. 

The rally and march came days after two Black transgender women, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, 27, and Riah Milton, 25 were killed.

Black Trans Lives Matter Movement
Photograph: Serichai Traipoom @serichai

Attendees also called for justice for Tony McDade, a transgender man who was fatally shot by a Tallahassee police officer; Nina Pop, a transgender woman who was stabbed to death in Missouri; and Layleen Polanco, an Afrolatinx transgender woman who died while being held in a solitary confinement cell without medical care following an epileptic seizure at Riker’s Island.

“Today, I call upon each and every one of you to make a commitment,” Ianne Fields Stewart, founder of the Okra Project, told the crowd at the Brooklyn Museum. “Today, I urge you to commit that today is the very last day that transphobia will claim the lives, loves and joys of Black trans people. For too long, Black trans people have fought for our unity, and for too long, [cisgender] people have been acting like they ain’t know what the fuck we’re talking about.”

“It is the last day,” Fields continued through cheers. “Today is the last day that Black non-binary people feel forced to fit themselves into a binary that doesn’t exist. Today is the last day that cis people use trans people as an encyclopedia when Google is right there. Today is the last day and today I demand that you commit that there will be no more hashtags… Transphobia ends today.”

See more powerful photos below of the rally outside Brooklyn Museum, and the thousands that marched afterward down DeKalb Avenue into Fort Greene Park. 

black trans lives matter march
Photograph: Serichai Traipoom @serichai
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: DJDawsonNYC
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: Cole Witter @colewitter
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: Serichai Traipoom @serichai
Black Trans Lives Matter Rally
Photograph: @leandrojusten
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: @leandrojusten
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: Cole Witter @colewitter
black trans lives matter march
Photograph: Alexey Kim
black trans lives rally
Photograph: @RossCollab
black trans lives matter rally
Photograph: Cole Witter @colewitter
black trans lives matter rally
Melania Brown, sister of Layleen Polanco, delivers the final speech of the Black Trans march in Fort Greene ParkPhotograph: Josh Pacheco

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