Culture

Check Out These 9 Trans Activists On Instagram As They Fight For Justice And Equality

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a solemn event that takes place every year in November. People around the world come together in local events held to honor the lives lost to transphobic attacks throughout the year. The life expectancy of a trans woman of color is 35 years old as many face physical violence for living as they are. Here are 9 trans activists who are fighting to make the world and safer and more welcoming place for trans women, men and non-binary people.

1. Bamby Salcedo

Salcedo is the CEO and co-founder of Trans Latin@ Coalition in 2009. The organization operates nationwide in the United States and works closely with trans communities in several states. Organizers in the group work with policymakers to shape laws to help the trans community and offer assistance in receiving medical care and fair housing in a country that allows discrimination based on gender identity in many states.

2. Carmen Carrera

Carrera first made a name for herself as a contestant on Season 3 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She didn’t win but she did use the fame and recognition to announce her transition shortly after the third season wrapped. Since transitioning, Carrera has worked tirelessly for trans rights and inclusivity within Latin America and within the modeling industry.

3. Shane Ortega

Shane Ortega was the first openly trans person to serve in the U.S. military. He has stood up and spoken out against President Trump’s anti-trans policies attempting to bar trans people from proudly serving in the military.

4. Laith-Ashley de la Cruz

De la Cruz started his modeling career at the same time he began his transition. The model and spokesperson has shared his story of acceptance and transition on news outlets in an attempt to demystify the misconceptions of being trans. He wants for people to realize that trans people are more than their transition.

5. Jennicet Gutierrez

Gutierrez is an organizer for Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (FTQLM) and is best known for confronting President Obama during a press conference. Gutierrez publicly confronted President Obama about the deportation of trans women to countries that are hostile to them. Gutierrez was born in Mexico and understands the fight many trans women across Latin America are involved in when it comes to their safety. Many countries have no protection for trans women who face violence for being who they are.

6. Manitas Nerviosas

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I see u baby

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Manitas Nerviosas is an indie musician in Mexico leaving her mark in the Mexican music scene. In a predominately Catholic and conservative society, Manitas Nerviosas sole existence in the music space is a form of resistance and pushing the boundaries of what gender means in Mexico.

7. Linn Da Quebrada

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ela não eh feia nem bonita

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Da Quebrada is a black Brazilian rapper who calls herself a gender terrorist. She is using her music to call out and fight back against the machista culture in Brazil. The South American country is notoriously known around the world for having shockingly high rates of transphobic and homophobic murders. The election of Jair Bolsonaro as president has sparked more fear among LGBTQ+ Brazilians.

8. Daniela Vega

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Bienvenidos 29 💅🏻

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Vega reached global stardom when “A Fantastic Woman” was released. The Chilean film won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Academy Awards. The film was praised by critics for casting a trans woman to play a trans woman role as she navigates life, love and work as a trans woman in South America.

9. Sylvia Rivera

Sylvia Rivera is one of two trans women of color who initiated the modern Gay Rights Movement at Stonewall in 1969. Rivera was at the New York City bar when police raided and began harassing patrons. Rivera, along with Marsha P Johnson, fought back and the riot led to days of unrest and the first LGBTQ+ pride march in NYC.


READ: Transgender Honduran Woman Died In ICE Custody, Weeks After Seeking Asylum

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

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Trans Activists Of Color Protested At The CNN/HRC Equality Town Hall And Audience Members Applauded

Bryan Bedder / Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES

CNN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted a historic town hall last night focusing on issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community. The moderators and presidential candidates tackled topics and hard-hitting issues that have severely impacted the lives of millions of LGBTQ+ Americans. The town hall happened as the Supreme Court is deciding if LGBTQ+ people are deserving of the same discrimination protections as all Americans. Here’s what happened last night.

Texas politician Julián Castro made it clear that religion will not be an excuse for LGBTQ+ discrimination in his administration.

There have numerous attempts by local and state governments to legalize religious discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The bills, often labeled as Religious Freedom bills, have been proposed in North Carolina and Indiana and failed. North Carolina wanted to legislate what bathroom people had to use and Indiana wanted to give religious organizations and business owners the license to outright discriminate against people based on their faith.

“If I’m elected president, the first order of business on January 20, 2021, will be to have a catalog with all of the different executive actions that this president, this administration, has taken, including exemptions that they’ve created or rolled back that has allowed people to discriminate against the LGBTQ, using as the reason their religion, their excuse their religion,” Castro told an audience member who asked how he will stop religious organizations from using their faith to dictate discriminatory laws. “I will go back to what we did in the Obama administration and then take it to the next level to protect the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that anybody should be bale to discriminate against you because you are a member of the LGBTQ community. I don’t believe that folks should be getting funding if they’re doing that. I don’t believe that in the healthcare context, the housing context, the employment context that people should be able to do that. I support the Equality Act and will work to pass that. When I was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, we did the transgender rule, which as I mentioned, expanded the equal access rule so that transgender individuals can find shelter in a manner that they are comfortable with and in accordance to their preference and that’s what I would do as president.”

Castro’s performance during the LGBTQ+ town hall has received praise from LGBTQ+ people.

Credit: @cmclymer / Twitter

Castro was able to speak about the issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community with an understanding that proves he isn’t going off talking points.

His conversation about faith and the license to discriminate showed his understanding of religion and LGBTQ+ people of faith.

Credit: @TUSK81 / Twitter

Castro wants to keep religion from attacking the very LGBTQ+ people of faith who depend on it. For many religious LGBTQ+ people, seeing religious leaders claim that their faith doesn’t accept them is a harsh reality.

Trans women of color let their voices be heard in a town hall that largely ignored them.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted when he started his time on the stage. Trans activist Bamby Salcedo and other trans women of color stormed the venue holding trans flag that read “We Are Dying.” The women chanted “We are dying” and “Do something.” Some audience members joined the women in their protest however others jumped up to take the flag away and end the protest.

Anderson Cooper, who was moderating for Buttigieg, spoke up for the women as they were escorted out telling the audience, “Let me just point out, there is a long and proud tradition in history in the gay, lesbian and transgender community of protest and we applaud them for their protest.”

Cooper continued saying, “And they are absolutely right to be angry and upset at the lack of attention, particularly in the media, of the lives of transgender [people].”

Another trans activist, Blossom C Brown, also took on the moderators about the lack of Black trans voices during the town hall.

A lot of the conversation during the town hall focused on issues impacting gay men, trans women, and bisexual people. Many are calling out the town hall for ignoring trans people of color, lesbians, and non-binary people when it comes to health, housing, identity expression, and other issues impacting these communities specifically.

Ashlee Marie Preston, the only trans Black woman in the program, was taken out of the program by CNN so she publicly boycotted the event.

Credit: @AshleeMPreston / Twitter

There was a pretty glaring lack of trans women and men of color during the hours of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues. It is a common complaint within the community as trans women of color have long been ignored and silenced within the LGBTQ+ Rights movement.

READ: After Almost Two Years, Trans Activist Alejandra Barrera Has Been Released From ICE Custody

Greta Thunberg Has Launched A Global Movement Trying To Save The Planet From Greedy Corporations

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Greta Thunberg Has Launched A Global Movement Trying To Save The Planet From Greedy Corporations

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If you’ve made it through the week without watching or hearing all about Greta Thunberg’s emotional and moving speech at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York; here it is.

The Swedish climate activist shamed world leaders this Monday in a passionate and furious speech, for failing younger generations by not taking sufficient steps to stop climate change in what has turned into a viral news story around the world. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” said the 16-year-old. “How dare you,” she continued while holding back tears. 

“I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she told the U.N. UN Climate Action Summit 2019 aimed at strategizing ways to curb the effects of climate change

In case you’re still left wondering, who exactly is Greta Thunberg and what is she campaigning for, ask no further, we got you covered. Here are just a few facts on the relentless teenage activist who has called out world leaders and scolded their actions on this hugely important issue.

People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg told the summit. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Greta first gained notoriety after staging a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year.

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Thunberg’s idea of a global walk-out in the name of climate change drew millions of young people around the world demanding change. Last year, she was along in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action.

She continued to gain popularity after speaking at the U.N. Climate Talks in Poland in December of 2018. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced,” she said to UN secretary-general António Guterres before the conference. “First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”

Her strike for climate change inspired young people all around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of students to join her #FridaysforFuture school walkout demonstrations. Young people in more than 123 countries skipped school to demand tighter climate policies and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Her actions to fight against climate change caught the attention of the people at the Nobel Peace Prize.

Credit: @GretaThunberg / Twitter

Greta was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which would make her the youngest recipient of the award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård in an interview with The Guardian.

She is leading by example.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

The teenager traveled to the US on board a zero-emission sailboat to draw attention to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel. A single round-trip flight between New York and California generates roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in a year. In Sweden, she is said to be credited for the spread of the term ‘flygskam’ which translates to “flight shame,” which has encouraged Swedes to avoid traveling by air.

She has Asperger’s and won’t be shamed about it.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

Four years ago, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism. “Being different is a gift,” she told BBC. “It makes me see things from outside the box…If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”

Her biggest inspiration is an American Civil Rights icon.

Credit: @SamJamesWard / Twitter

Rosa Parks is reportedly Greta Thunberg’s inspiration. “One person can make such a huge difference,” she said to Rolling Stone magazine about the civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus.

Thunberg’s glare at President Trump is a social media mood.

Credit: @MatAuryn / Twitter

Greta’s speech this Monday didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate change and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating it. He took to twitter to mockingly comment on the 16-year-old activist: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

She even trolled him after he made comments about her.

Credit: @weijia / Twitter

Greta clapped back by changing her Twitter bio to include Trump’s own words calling her: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” *Drops mic*

Her fight is not slowing down.

Credit: gretathunberg / Instagram

Greta continues to miss school on Fridays to protest climate change. This year on September 20, she led the largest climate strike in history, which included an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries to combat the use of fossil fuels and their catastrophic effects on global warming and future generations worldwide.

READ: AOC Is Putting The GOP On Notice For Preventing Science From Saving American Lives From Climate Change