US: Social justice group holds vigil in Washington
Black Trans* Women’s Lives Matter (BTWLM), a social justice campaign, will hold a vigil and make a call for peace in Washington, DC this Saturday.
The vigil, being held outside the Congressional Black Caucus meeting at the Walter E Washington Convention Center, aims to call attention to misogynistic and transphobic violence experienced by trans women and girls of colour in the US.
In a press release, BTWLM said their mission is to defend young African-American girls in the trans community from discriminatory laws, and to call on the support of the media and legal systems.
The press release states: “We aim to defend our sisters from the misogynistic, transphobic and racist forces that fuel our oppression and to challenge the discriminatory laws and unjust courts that often fail us. We seek solidarity and authentic support from the mainstream Black social justice movement, our elected officials and the progressive media.”
Ashley Love, organiser of BTWLM, hopes the vigil will bring the violence experienced by trans women of colour to the attention of elected officials.
She said: “There’s an epidemic in this country that few know about, the media often ignores and that most elected officials feel uncomfortable acknowledging. We hold this vigil to honor the memory of the many transsexual women of color slain this year and will be outside the CBC Conference so that those we elected to protect us may join us in addressing this crisis.”
At Celebrating the Soul of Justice on Wednesday, Bishop Yvette Flunder, a national leader in the affirming ministries movement, endorsed BTWLM’s vigil and their call for peace. Flunder joins Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, TGI Justice Project’s Executive Director, and Veronika Fimbres, the first openly-trans woman to hold public office in San Francisco, in their support of the vigil.