There is a very specific message being displayed when Black women use the phrase “Say Her Name,” we’re talking about women who have been killed by police violence or negligence, we’re not talking about trans issues. And that’s an important distinction.
Recently Brianna Ghey was murdered in the UK. It’s a really sad story because she was trans because she was murdered because she was killed by two people who hated her for existing. It’s heartbreaking, and yet, she’s still not a Black woman killed by police, so the message of “Say Her Name,” isn’t for her.
When the story initially came out, there were rumors that press agents had been using Brianna’s dead name, which is fucking horrid, it’s awful enough that she’s gone, but to use her dead name and publish it is an act of defiance against trans people. But she’s still not a Black woman killed by police violence or ignorance.
There is a very VERY specific reason we use “Say Her Name,” it’s to remind folks that BLACK WOMEN Matter, and when you take this very specific message and twist it to mean something else, you rip away from the Black community a vocal message of rage, that OUR Black women are being ignored, in favor of white women. This happens all the time.
When we started telling each other to “Stay Woke,” it was to remind each other to pay attention to the various ways in which white people strip Black people of their autonomy.
We have lost entire neighborhoods across North America, due to white supremacy, “stay woke,” is a reminder of this fact. It’s a warning that not all folk are kin folk, and yet now white people are calling it “the woke mind virus,” and diluting the meaning to fit their own needs.
What happened to the child formally known as Brianna Ghey is absolutely fucking abhorrent and evil, but there are hashtags designed for trans people, and when your argument is “well Trans and Black are unimportant,” you prove that you care less about trans folks then you do about white supremacy and gaslighting the Black community.
Here are some of the responses to requests not to use the #SayHerName tag for white trans folks, and remember these are just some of them:
In the first image we have a Black person say “this is not divisive you’re spreading the wrong message,” and in the second we have a white person say that Black and trans are two separate things.
BLACK, TRANS, PEOPLE, EXIST.
This is where I start to lose my mind, we’re all for intersectionality until we’re told that we’re spreading the wrong message for the wrong reasons and instead of allowing us to be corrected, we fight back and by “we” I mean white women.
It’s really exhausting trying to exist knowing that there are no messages of support for Black trans people until it’s time to use them as a “gotcha moment,” that proves you support us. You fucked up, you did it wrong, that’s okay, this is an opportunity to learn, but too many of us – again I mean white women – refuse to understand that sometimes the conversation ain’t about you.
“But can’t it be?” No, because 99% of the time, Black women go out of their way to codeswitch to make white people feel more comfortable.
I don’t even speak in my natural tone of voice, I switch it to sound more white, so as to make people more comfortable, which means that I stutter over my words, or I get frustrated and yell because I’m trying to keep my words “English” and “white” sounding enough to pass. It’s fucking exhausting.
If you see a stop sign are you going to suddenly decide that it no longer means stop? Of course not, so why do you as a white person get to decide that something wasn’t meant for you, is suddenly yours to do with it what you wish?
All I ask before you consider trying to comment is that you consider why it makes you angry that BLACK Women are telling you specifically, something isn’t for you.
That being said, trans women do exist as Black women, and trans men who are Black also exist and ignoring that they exist to fit your narrative is just fucking evil.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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