Why do faith communities accept Madea when they are aware that she is played by a man in drag? Would the same churchgoing audiences accept a man attending their church services in drag? Could that love extend to someone who still has manly features but identifies as a woman?
I will never be silent just because the topic of gender identity and race are uncomfortable. CeCe McDonald, Paige Clay, and other trans women of color are human beings first, and when we turn a blind eye to injustice, we close our hearts and minds on ourselves.
Deoni Jones was 23 years old, fatally stabbed while waiting at a bus stop in Washington, D.C. Police say they have no evidence that this particular stabbing was related to her gender identity. Regardless, she was one of too many transgender women violently killed.
As an African-American transgender woman, I have suffered discrimination, bullying, false arrests, and hatred for just being myself. Fear and shame controlled my life for many years, yet I never had the fear of not finding myself.