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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