Rochester black trans community calls for more inclusion in local Black Lives Matter protests

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Rochester’s LGBTQ community says it’s also in this equal rights fight. It wants everyone to know about the violence against trans men and women. People may have seen it on social media posts and on signs during the recent Black Lives Matter protests “Black Trans Lives Matter.” 

News 8 spoke to Jazzelle Bonilla who is a HIV coordinator at Trillium and the Mocha Center, which helps LGBTQ+ people color. Bonilla said a lot of times transgender people of color who are brutality attacked or killed never get justice. 

“So I feel like it’s important for when we say, Black Lives Matter, we mean all Black lives,” said Jazzelle Bonilla.  “I think about Tony mcdade, Nina pope, Malaysia booker.  These are just a few names of countless other trans people who lost their lives.” 

According to the Human Right’s Campaign, there were 26 transgender and non-binary people killed just last year. Of those 26, 96% of them were black women.

“ Being a trans woman, we sit down and talk about the violence that could happen to us. Me just walking out of my house sometimes, I fear possibly just being targeted because I am a trans woman of color,” said Bonilla. 

For Marie adelina de la Ferriere, she’s glad the topic is starting to take center stage within the Black LivesMatter movement.  But still feels more needs to be done so it won’t be overlooked and undervalued. 

“Whether it’s constant violence against us, which is constantly posted on social media, talking about deaths. We are more than just numbers, we are actual human beings and we have to be treated as such,” said Ferriere. “We promote ourselves as both and we’re proud of that. We’re always at the protests, always first at the front, but when it comes to our lives people become silent and that’s heartbreaking.” 

To learn more about Trillium’s Mocha Center click here.

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