Viral footage of the brutal beating of a black transgender woman named Iyanna Dior on Monday has enraged activists, prompting nationwide calls for justice and awareness of the high rates of violence against black transgender women.
Dior, 21, was attacked by a mob in a Minneapolis gas station, reportedly after a fender bender. The city has been wracked by protests following the violent death of George Floyd in police custody last week. Footage of the attack, which Rolling Stone is not posting, has also been circulating on Twitter.
In a post on her Facebook, Dior said she needed time “to process everything that’s going on.” “Thanks to everyone reaching out making sure I’m OK, Imma talk real soon,” she wrote. She also posted her CashApp handle #NajaBabiie for those interested in supporting her.
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Iyanna Dior. Sis, you’re still standing. I praise and uplift you. I’m sending you the strength of your sisters still standing too — and the ones who no longer could. They deserve rest, and we speak their names too. Iyanna, you are a black trans woman. What a gift! Don’t let nobody tell you otherwise. Sis. I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. They didn’t have to come after you. But they did. There’s no fucking excuse for their brutality, their dangerous ignorance, their fragile masculinity. That shit been killing us. To be brutally attacked and called out your name while a crowd of your brothers and siblings look on….I’m so sorry sis. My heart aches for you. But we got you sis. You’re gonna heal. You rest now. Let us carry what you can’t right now. You deserve rest and peace. We’re showing the fuck up. Our fight for black lives will not be in sacrifice of you or our sisters. We must stop centering cisgender heterosexual men and their needs. We will not ignore the violence some of these men enact on you, our sisters’ and our siblings’ lives. If Black lives matter then Black trans lives should matter as well. We are here. We been here. We need our black cisgender siblings to roll up RIGHT NOW. You ain’t no ally. You are family. We are your family. Speak Iyanna Dior’s name — all our names — just as much as we’ve been screaming yours. We love y’all. We show up for y’all. Now show up for us. #blacklivesmatter #iyannadior #girlslikeus UPDATE: Iyanna’s previous CashApp username $NajaBabiie is not working. She’s verified that her updated CashApp is $IyannaDIO (those are uppercase i). I’d also recommend donating funds to grassroots trans orgs: @tgijustice @mpjinstitute @sylviariveralawproject @youthbreakout @translatinacoalition to name a few.
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The beating of Dior comes on the tail end of the fatal police shooting of Tony McDade, a 38-year-old black trans man in Tallahassee, Florida, which has sparked protests among the LGBTQ community. Activists have also brought attention to the murder of Nina Pop, 28, who was found dead in her apartment in Missouri early last month. Both McDade and Pop were initially misgendered by police departments when they released information about their deaths.
LGBTQ activists are sharing Dior’s story on social media as part of an effort to bring awareness to the increased rate of violence against black transgender people. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people were violently killed in 2019 alone, with the vast majority of the victims being black transgender women.
Janet Mock also posted an impassioned message of support for Dior on Instagram, urging supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement to fight for the lives of black transgender women. “We must stop centering cisgender heterosexual men and their needs. We will not ignore the violence some of these men enact on you, our sisters’ and our siblings’ lives. If Black lives matter then Black trans lives should matter as well. We are here. We been here,” she wrote.