This week Transgender Law Center (TLC) and partner organizations announced plans to mobilize in El Paso, Texas and hold a National Day of Action on June 25th to hold the government accountable for the deaths of Black and brown trans women.
“On the first day of Pride, a trans migrant named Johana Medina Leon died alone in a hospital after weeks of begging ICE for medical care while she was in immigration detention. Just a few days later, a Black trans woman named Layleen Polanco died at Rikers Island prison,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of TLC, underscoring the urgency of this moment for trans communities. “When the government actively cages and kills us, it is telling the country to target us, too.”
At least eleven Black trans women have been murdered this year, including Layleen, who died in custody because she couldn’t afford $500 bail. Organizers of the Day of Action emphasize that #StonewallIsNow and that the same state that targeted LGBT people in 1969 is still killing them in prisons, detention centers, and inciting violence against them in public.
“We’re gathering in El Paso, Texas next week to show the country that we must not become numb to this kind of violence. We have to show up and take action,” said Ola Osaze, director of TLC’s Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP). “Since October, two Black trans women were murdered in Dallas, Texas and a third survived a brutal attack. If our goal is to actually honor Stonewall, we must show up for the people most affected by state violence.”
Organizations joining TLC in El Paso, Texas include BLMP, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Mijente, El/La Para TransLatinas, and Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee. They are encouraging supporters to host local actions all over the country and to express their support on social media.
For more information on the National Day of Action, visit https://transgenderlawcenter.org/stonewall-is-now.