#SayHerName, #TransBlackLivesMatter and#BlackLivesMatter have helped bring attention to the continued murder and violence that Black women face both at the hands of the state, and so often, at the hands of Black men. The stories of Dee Whigham, Korryn Gaines, Rekia Boyd, Skye Mockabee, and Sandra Bland are only a few―there are many more whose name’s may never rise to national attention.
But we can not just listen to the experiences of Black women when they call out to us from the grave. We must act by listening to the voices of Black women who are here now. We must listen to understand what we as a community can do to support them. We must listen to understand what we do that hurts them. We must mobilize each other to act for their health and well being; as they have mobilized for the health and wellbeing of us all.
Gathered below are the voices of Black women who advocate and work for the healing and power of our communities everyday. I reached out to hear from them about what they feel we need to be doing to support their emotional health in a culture rampant with misognynoir and transphobia.
Below are their responses. Read them. Reflect upon them. And then take action.
What do we as a community need to be doing to support the emotional health of Black women?
Aaryn Lang: “We need to listen and believe Black women when we share our experiences. We need to understand that the cocktail of misogyny, racism, and transphobia creates a world where we have to do so much extra labor to be able to simply relax or be. I think about how long I have walked around with a chip on my shoulder because being raised as a Black boy grown into a black woman, I never actually had the space to express just how I feel about what it means to exist at the intersections that I do.
Black women, Black femmes, need love. More than anything in the world we need the kind of patient, kind love that we have read about. We need to be heard and held. As a Black trans person, guilt is written into my DNA. It’s so difficult for me to understand what it means to be safe in my body.
We don’t need protecting, we don’t need to be purified, or infantilized. We need people to be willing to stand with us. More than anything, though, Black women and femmes need each other. We’ve operated out of projected self-hate for far too long. Malcolm said it best: The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. And of course, stop f*cking killing us.”
Read the rest at the Huffington Post