Her name is Bianca Bonita Carter, she writes in an email to me. She doesn’t tell me much about her life before D.C. “I was in a bad situation then njnp [No Justice No Pride] saved me,” she says. “I became an activist because trans lives matter and black and trans women need to stick together. People often say they are for trans lives but no isn’t going in the streets…”
A History of Pain
Trans activists have a long and proud history of activist work. They’re also one of the groups who are most discriminated against. JK Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, tweeted “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” According to a study from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Center for Transgender equality, “Nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) reported being refused care outright because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.” The Trump administration pushed ahead with a rule that wrote transsexual people out of protections from discrimination in healthcare. The administration also withdrew protections for transgender children in schools and curtailed protections for transgender people in prison, among other things. This is in spite of the fact that the FBI found 1 in 5 attacks are motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias
Trans people are holding their line. Bianca is a member of No Justice No Pride, which describes itself as “a Trans and Queer-led collective of D.C.-based activists and organizers…” NJNP is fighting for the safety of trans sex workers in D.C. Leader Danica Roem, a former journalist, was elected as Delegate to the 13th District of Virginia. Activist and organizer Samantha Boucher served as campaign manager to Kimberly Graham and Paula Swearingen, both candidates for Senate. AC Dunlao is the Program Manager at the Transgender Legal Defense Fund.
Bianca closes her email to me with this. “The advice I will give to BIPOC and trans kids is to always push to be different and remember you are the light of the future.” She adds that if allies want to get involved, they can help with donations and clothing.