Carrying black and white signs, adorned with pink triangles, members of the Bay Area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community took to the streets on Christmas Eve to make a point that Black lives matter, all Black lives.
The protests briefly blocked Highway 101 at the Octavia Boulevard entrance with nearly 100 protesters chanting and holding signs that read silence = violence. Police followed the march down Market Street towards the Castro District closely behind on foot.
Janetta Johnson, who is a transgender leader, says she joined the protest because if Black men’s lives don’t matter, Black Transgender lives are thought of as even less.
“In our society there is a hierarchy of class and privilege,” said Johnson. “There have been a lot of unsolved murders towards Black and Brown transgender women and it seems nobody really cares.”
“Transgenders are being attacked for solely being transgender and being put in jail for only being victimized and protecting themselves.”
The transgender community is afraid of the police, said, Johnson explaining that if she were ever attacked, she would not call the police to protect her. “For what? To be further victimized? I came out to be visible, to say our lives matter.”
Samson McCormick, popular standup comedian, writer and activist who is openly gay, said that issues related to race and the history of police brutality against minorities, particularly Black folks, have gone on too long and have not been confronted in a manner that leads to change.
“Nobody knows the anxiety that it feels to be a Black person and have to interact with a police officer. We (can’t) just sit around and twiddle our thumbs hoping for some magical change – we have to be visible,” he said.
There will be a San Francisco Black Lives Matter Community Building Symposium at SF City College (So. East Campus: Alex Pitcher room) at 1800 Oakdale Ave., Sunday, Jan. 4 from noon to 3 p.m.