Things That Matter

A Black Trans Woman Named Iyanna Dior Was Viciously Attacked By A Mob And Now She’s Speaking Out

As the nation reacted to the brutal murder of George Floyd and were forced to process yet another killing of an unarmed Black man, a Black trans woman was violently attacked by a mob in the same city George Floyd was killed.

Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman – just 21-years-old, was brutally attacked by a group of 20-30 cis-gender men, who kicked, punched, and violently attacked her. Her attack is just the most recent in a string of attacks targeting the transgender community – especially Black trans people. A Black trans woman must face anti-Blackness within the LGBTQ community while also struggling against transphobia within the community at large – it’s a fight that many are being attacked over.

So, as the country struggles over violence against black bodies, attention must be paid to the everyday violence faced by Black trans people, especially trans women, too.

A group of men attacked Iyanna Dior, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, in Minneapolis.

As the U.S. sees massive protests and a growing movement bringing attention to systemic racism, the country is also being forced to face another fact: that Black trans people are being brutally attacked and killed.

Yet another video has gone viral, showing a group of 20-30 men attacking a Black trans woman in Minneapolis. The woman, 21-year-old Iyanna Dior, had been involved in a fender bender and was chased and beaten by bystanders after being unable to pay for the damage.

In the video, the mob was shown violently beating Dior as they called her homophobic and transphobic slurs outside of a convenience store. Dior eventually escaped from her attackers after bystanders intervened by standing between her and the group. She then slipped behind the store counter and out the back door.

A day after the attack, Dior took to Facebook to say she is OK, showing her extensive injuries.

Credit: Iyanna Dior / Facebook

“The whole side of my face is swollen. It hurts so bad. On my forehead, if you run your hands across it, these are knots. That’s a whole patch of scratches,” she said in the video. “My f—ing arm is just swollen, it hurts so bad. I need to go to the hospital. My lips are cut on the inside. A lot of s— happened.”

She followed the Facebook Live with a post that read,“BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER.”

Dior’s attack comes just as the country is reeling from several high-profile murders of Black Americans – many of whom have been trans.

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.

Experts have long been warning about an “epidemic” of violence against trans women of color.

In 2019, 26 transgender and non-binary people were murdered, according to the Human Rights Campaign. And of those 26, 91% were Black women. Let that sink in for a moment.

It’s obvious that the U.S. is in a crisis – especially when it comes to the systemic attacks against Black trans people. Following the now viral video of Dior’s attack, several high-profile Black trans women have taken to social media to voice their support for her and to bring awareness to the growing epidemic of violence.

The crisis is so bad that just last year, the American Medical Association adopted new policies intended to put an end to an “epidemic” of violence against trans women, particularly trans women of color. The organization, which counts 250,000 US medics as members, called on healthcare workers to recognize these attacks as a public health issue, urging medics to document violence against trans people, and collaborate with law enforcement on investigations into abuses. 

So far in 2020, according to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 12 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed.

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Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Things That Matter

Recognizing Its Diversity Issue, Argentina Is Working To Add More Transgender Workers To Its Labor Force

Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Argentina has long been a progressive bastion in Latin America. It was one of the first countries in the region to allow same-sex marriage and also has anti-discrimination laws in many cities. It’s also been a beacon of hope for the transgender community, with the government long allowing individuals to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex.

However, transgender workers still face immense discrimination and that has left a reported 95% of the community without formal employment. To help try and address this issue, the nation’s leaders have instituted a program to ensure that at least 1% of the workforce is made up of trans workers. It’s an ambitious task but the government is already making progress.

Argentina launched a program to ensure better transgender representation in the workforce.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández signed a decree in September establishing a 1 percent employment quota for transgender people in the public sector. The law went into effect on January 1 and its aim is to bring more trans workers into the formal economy.

According to Argentina’s LGBTQ community, 95 percent of transgender people do not have formal employment, with many forced to work in the sex industry where they face violence.

“If all the institutions implemented the trans quota, it would change a lot for many of my colleagues. It would change the quality of their lives and they would not die at 34, or 40, which is their life expectancy today,” Angeles Rojas, who recently landed a job at a national bank, told NBC News.

There are no official figures on the size of the transgender community in Argentina, since it was not included in the last 2010 census. But LGBTQ organizations estimate there are 12,000 to 13,000 transgender adults in Argentina, which has a population topping 44 million.

Few countries in the world are stepping up to help trans workers quite like Argentina.

Argentina has long prided itself on its progressive policies. The nation was one of the first in the Americas to recognize same-sex unions and several cities have anti-discrimination laws aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.

In 2012, Argentina adopted an unprecedented gender identity law allowing transgender people to choose their self-perceived identity regardless of their biological sex. The law also guarantees free access to sex-reassignment surgeries and hormonal treatments without prior legal or medical consent.

Worldwide, only neighboring Uruguay has a comparable quota law promoting the labor inclusion of transgender people. And a law such as this one has the potential to greatly impact the lives of transgendered Argentinians.

Despite the program, transgender people still face enormous challenges in Argentina.

A recent report by the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People published in December said “the vast majority of trans women in the region have sex work as their sole economic and subsistence livelihood.”

It goes on to say: In Latin America and the Caribbean transgender people have their right to work violated along with all their human rights, and this takes place “in a context of extreme violence.”

Despite legal protections, Argentina’s trans community remains at risk. Many of the country’s trans citizens live in the Gondolín, a building in the Buenos Aires’ Palermo neighborhood, for protection and strength in numbers.

There have been advances in Argentina. This year, Diana Zurco became the first transgender presenter of Argentine television news, Mara Gómez was authorized by the Argentine Football Association to play in the professional women’s league and soprano María Castillo de Lima was the first transgender artist to go on stage at Teatro Colón.

However, the gap between the equality established by law and the real one remains large, warned Ese Montenegro, a male transgender activist hired as an adviser to the Chamber of Deputies’ women’s and diversity commission.

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The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

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The Father And Son Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Don’t Want Him To Be Called A “Victim” In Upcoming Court Case

Sean Rayford / Getty Images

The men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery have some outrageous requests for their upcoming murder trial that really show just how far many will go protect white supremacy.

Despite their being video evidence of them chasing and shooting Arbery, the father and son are requesting that Arbery never be referred to as a victim. What the actual f***?!

Arbery’s killers are asking a judge to prohibit referring to Arbery as a “victim.”

The men responsible for Ahmaud Arbery’s death have a litany of requests for their upcoming murder trial – notably, they don’t want the word “victim” uttered in court while referring to the man they murdered.

Defense attorneys for Travis and Greg McMichael – the father and son who chased Arbery down with their truck and then proceeded to shoot and kill him in a struggle – have filed new motions in their trial. They want to prohibit the prosecution from ever referring to Arbery as a victim in front of the jury, because they say that’s a conclusion that can’t be reached before a verdict.

“The purpose of this motion is to prevent the prosecution from ignoring its duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that crimes were actually committed and that the McMichaels committed the crimes as charged,” states the four-page motion, signed by lawyers Franklin and Laura Hogue, Robert Rubin and Jason Sheffield.

According to the motion, the McMichaels argue no crime has been committed – remember, they’ve pled not guilty and argued self-defense. As a result, they say “loaded words” like “victim” might prejudice jurors against them from the jump.

But there’s more: his killers are asking the judge to only allow one photo of Arbery.

Their unbelievable antics don’t stop with the word “victim.” Defense attorneys are also requesting that only one “in life” photograph be permitted at trial to depict Arbery – and that the photo show him alone without any family members or friends. Not just that, but the defense asks that no family member of his be able to identify him in court, they want that done by an unrelated, third party witness, if necessary.

The reason: they argue too many photos of Arbery will create an ingrained bias in the jury’s collective mind, and paint him as a sympathetic character. They say they don’t want his family involved in ID’ing either because of possible emotional outbursts, which may also affect the jurors. So in other words, the McMichaels want this as sterile as possible.

One last thing: the McMichaels have asked that Black Lives Matter face masks not be permitted in court, that any jail calls they’ve made be stricken as usable evidence, but that Ahmaud’s criminal record be admissible. Again, what the actual f***?!

Arbery’s murder made headlines over the summer as he was chased and gunned down while out on a jog.

Credit: Sean Rayford / Getty Images

Arbery was killed on 23 February last year in Brunswick, Georgia, while out jogging. Prosecutors allege that Gregory McMichael, 64, a retired police detective, and his son Travis, 34, chased Arbery in their truck and initiated a confrontation that ended with Travis McMichael shooting Arbery dead.

Arbery’s killing sparked outrage in the local community and nationally, particularly after it was revealed that local law enforcement initially refused to arrest the suspects and a prosecutor, who later recused himself, wrote a memorandum explaining why he believed the killing was legally justified.

The McMichaels told detectives they believed Arbery, a trained electrician, was responsible for a string of burglaries in their neighbourhood, and merely wanted to ask him about them. They were arrested more than two months after the shooting, when the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case.

A judge has yet to weigh in, and a trial date isn’t set.

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