Black trans activist and veteran of the Stonewall Riots wants you to remember that all Black lives matter
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a veteran of the Stonewall Uprising and one of the best-known Black trans activists in history, has warned that Black Lives Matter must include trans people.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Miss Major recalled the energy of the early LGBT+ rights movements – and was outspoken with her opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think the riots that they’re having for George Floyd, it is amazing to see,” she said.
“And I hope that this is a time that they’ll do something about it, some sort of change to make it better, because for Black people, for Black trans folks, it’s really, really hard.
“I think it’s really sad that… they don’t include the transgender people. It’s very hard to get adjusted to that.”
Miss Major, who recently recovered from a stroke, added that she thought this wave of Black Lives Matter protests had done more to include Black trans people than earlier protests.
“I think the people who started that movement, Black Lives Matter, are a wonderful bunch of people,” she said, recalling the initial protests in the early 2010s.
“They were concerned about the atrocity that transgender people suffered. But when it took off, they seemed to forget that all the Black lives matter.
“They forget that it’s wrong to just beat up on somebody because of the fact that they’re a part of a group that doesn’t concern who they are. So in that realm, they slipped up.”
Now, Miss Major says that there does seem to be more inclusivity in the movement – she pointed to the protests for Black trans lives across the US last weekend, which she said “did my heart good”.
Protestors have also been saying the name of Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was killed in Florida by a white policeman.
But when asked if she thought Black Lives Matter was more inclusive of Black and queer lives this time around, Miss Major seemed hesitant.
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“You know, honey, I would like to believe that,” she said.
“George Floyd caught the nation by surprise and rightly so. They should pounce immediately on the government,” she continued.
“But along with that, they’ve forgotten that they kill transgender women, transgender men.
“When do we get justice? And if it’s not fair for us, it’s going to be unfair for the rest of the world.
“They’ve got to include us. They can’t continue to run amok in this time that they’re having now and run over us to get to righteousness.
“It has to include everybody, or nobody is going to get saved,” she said of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“There’s always that nagging suspicion that it doesn’t include my community and that I’ve got to make sure that it does.”