Transgender women of color were the leaders in LGBTQ+ activism before, during, and after the uprising at the Stonewall Inn 51 years ago, but they have never been put at the center of the movement they helped start.
Black trans women today still have not been prioritized in racial justice or LGBTQ+ activism, despite the fact that they disproportionately suffer from the racism, violence, homophobia, and transphobia these movements exist to combat. Since 2013, more than 130 transgender and non-binary individuals have been killed in the United States, according to a report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Police violence, anti-transgender violence, housing insecurity, exclusion from healthcare and social services, and unemployment are just some of the challenges that Black trans women face due to discrimination based in their perceived gender and race.
We want to see a world where transgender individuals can live freely, thrive, and lead; and we must begin by addressing the fact that the Black trans community needs our support now more than ever because of the urgent need to end the epidemic of anti-Black violence.
When Black trans women are free to live and lead, all trans women of color, all Black people, all trans people, and ultimately all people will be free. Black trans lives mattered then, today, and always will–and they deserve more.
- Dana Martin
- Jazzaline Ware
- Ashanti Carmon
- Claire Legato
- Muhlaysia Booker
- Michelle Tamika Washington
- Paris Cameron
- Chynal Lindsey
- Chanel Scurlock
- Zoe Spears
- Brooklyn Lindsey
- Denali Berries Stuckey
- Kiki Fantroy
- Pebbles LaDime Doe
- Tracy Single
- Bubba Walker
- Bailey Reeves
- Bee Love Slater
- Itali Marlowe
- Brianna “BB” Hill
- Yahira Nesby
- Johana “Joa” Medina
- Layleen Polanco
- Monika Diamond
- Pebbles LaDime Doe
- Tracy Single
- Riah Milton
- TeTe Gulley
- Nina Pop
- Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells
- Brayla Stone
- Merci Mack
- Tatiana Hall
- Shaki Peters
- Draya McCarty
- Bree Black
- Tiffany “Dior” Harris
- Queasha Hardy
Here are organizations you can donate to right now to support Black trans individuals.
TGI Justice Project (TGIJP) supports Black trans leaders inside and outside of prisons, jails, and other locked facilities through political education and leadership development. Their Re-Entry Program empowers community members returning home as they navigate resources, gain access to housing, and long-term employment.
Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative (SNAP CO) is a Black trans and queer led organization that builds safety within the community, investing in their collective embodied leadership, and building political power. SNAP CO envisions a vibrant, radically inclusive metro Atlanta where all people are safe and free, and have the opportunity to live and thrive as their authentic selves.
Founded and led by Trans and gender nonconforming people and allies, House of GG creates safe and transformative spaces where members of the community can heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—from the trauma arising from generations of transphobia, racism, sexism, poverty, ableism and violence, and nurture them into tomorrow’s leaders. They currently primarily focus on supporting and nurturing the leadership of transgender women of color living in the U.S. South.
G.L.I.T.S approaches the health and rights crises faced by transgender sex workers holistically using harm reduction, human rights principles, economic and social justice, along with a commitment to empowerment and pride in finding solutions from their own community. The first issue they address is that of immediate need/crisis support for transgender sex workers, including community members from the NYC area, across the US and globally through supporting asylum seekers from priority communities. They address health care and health resilience for transgender sex workers, as they are hyper-marginalized and have a profound need for safe sex supplies and free/low cost health to address both trans specific and holistic needs. Currently, G.L.I.T.S is working on housing since so many are without stable housing, deepening the cycle of disenfranchisement. G.L.I.T.S. also advocates and educates to ensure health, wellness and inclusion of transgender people in society and to address the stigmatization and criminalization of trans people because of anti-prostitution/anti-sex work laws.
Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Marsha went by “Black Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Marsha would say in response to questions about her gender. It is the consideration of who “Black Marsha” was that inspired The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people. They do this by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting their collective power.
Kween Culture Initiative’s mission is to promote the social and cultural empowerment of transgender women of color. They aim to empower and celebrate the richness of Black and brown transgender women by fostering community; articulating and building joyful futures for transgender women of color.
They aim to create spaces for collective possibility, and create opportunities for transgender women of color to celebrate beauty and joy in everyday moments, while also raising visibility on issues they face to the broader public that maximize trans voices and trans thought leadership.
The Black Trans Travel Fund (BTTF) is a mutual-aid based organization committed to uplifting the narratives and supporting the livelihoods of Black trans women. Launched in June of 2019, BTTF was developed for the purpose of providing Black transgender women with the financial resources needed to be able to self-determine and access safer alternatives to travel, where women feel less likely to experience verbal harassment or physical harm. They have already redistributed over $60,000 to Black trans women in need!
The Trans Justice Funding Project is a community-led funding initiative founded in 2012 to support grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. They make grants annually by bringing together a panel of six trans justice activists from around the country to carefully review every application we receive. They center the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions. Every penny they raise goes to their grantees with no restrictions, and no strings attached because they truly believe in trans leadership.
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black trans people wherever they can reach them. The Okra Project pays Black trans chefs to go into the homes of Black trans people to cook them a healthy and home-cooked meal at absolutely no cost. For those Black trans folks currently experiencing homeless or whose homes cannot support their chef’s cooking, The Okra Project has partnered with institutions like Osborne Association and other community spaces to deliver foods.
Driven by the leadership of trans women of color, along with individual and organizational allies, the mission of TAJA’s Coalition is to stop the genocide of trans women of color.
Trans people face dramatically elevated risk of harm or death in pre-trial detention. Because of systemic discrimination and criminalization that pushes them to the margins of society, trans people are less eligible for pre-trial release under existing programs. They are more likely to be assaulted in jail and less likely to get out, a lethal combination.
The mission of the Emergency Release Fund is to ensure that no trans person at risk in New York City jails remains in detention before trial. If cash bail is set for a trans person in New York City and no bars to release are in place, bail will be paid by the Emergency Release Fund.
Trans people experience constant injustice. Behind bars it can be fatal. It’s on us to make sure no one–not one person–falls through the cracks.
For The Gworls’ Emergency Relief Medical Fund allows for Black trans folks to travel to clinics and pharmacies during this time, as well as provide co-pay assistance if needed so that they can continue to receive important prescriptions. They send these funds directly to them so that they can transport themselves via a rideshare service to and from wherever they access their medicines. They accept applications from Black, transgender people nationwide.
Black Trans Femmes in the Arts (BFTA) connects the community of Black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts and to build power among themselves.
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, they seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for their communities. They believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, they must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence.
Trans Lifeline is committed to being a resource that the trans community can continue to rely on for years to come. With your support, they can keep these vital services available to those in the community who need them most.