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A Call to End Violence Against LGBTQ POC
A large group of people rallied in New York on Friday evening to protest violence against LGBTQ People of Color. The rally was prompted by the attack on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago, as well as the persistent violence perpetuated by all queer POC.
"The recent violence that Jussie Smollett endured was not just an attack on his body or his identity, it was an attack on humanity," Jason Walker, HIV/AIDS Campaign Coordinator at VOCAL NY, said in a statement. "It's not representative of the community I want to live in. We will not allow violence or fear to halt our progress toward greater racial, gender, queer equality and acceptance."
Speakers included Beverly Tillery from the Anti-Violence Project; Tanya Walker of NYTAG; James Felton Keith, Co-founder of SLAY YV; Lee Soulja of NYC Black Pride; Angelica Torres, Trans activist & community leader; Ricky Day, artist & filmmaker; Jewel Cadet and Zola Bruce from the Center for Anti-Violence Education; LaLa B. Zanell, trans activist; Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter Greater NYC; and Tabytha Gonzalez of Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.
"The reality is that thousands of LGBTQ people face violence every year and LGBTQ people of color, especially trans individuals face the brunt of this violence. These experiences of hate violence do not get the attention they deserve," Beverly Tillery, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said in a statement. "Last week, a black trans woman in Houston, Candice Elease Pinky, was shot at a gas station. Her attack did not make national news and local police and news that covered it misgendered her. A gay man in philly was beaten last weekend outside of a gay bar also didn't make national news. Just a few weeks ago, a black trans woman, Dana Martin, was murdered in Alabama. Jussie's experience with hate violence is one of many stories that need to be told."
Photography: Matt Bernstein