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We will never forget the names of those
Who should have been known for so much more.

Sandra Bland. George Floyd. Tamir Rice. Riah Milton. James Scurlock. Rem'Mie Fells. Breonna Taylor. Too many to name. 400 years.

We remember them for all they could have been.
Not martyrs. Murdered.
People living and then gone forever.

White supremacy is not poetic. It is a blunt instrument.
We must fight it every day.
Anjana Rao Jun 7
Say it with your chest.

Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.

There’s a lot of reasons
to say
No
to being in the streets.

Anxiety.
It’s a work day.
It’s dangerous.
What are you even doing there?

And you still go.
It feels more right
than being at your desk job
in a 80% white county.

So you make the drive.
You write numbers to call on your arm
tentatively,
hoping you don’t need them,
but it’s too late to turn back anyway.

Somehow this feels right.

And it’s hot.
The sweat is melting
the numbers off your arm.

And you’re hungry
because you didn’t eat lunch
and didn’t pack anything.

And your ex is here,
and you can deal with it,
but it’s still uncomfortable.

And you don’t know most people here
and there are so many white people,
and what are you doing here?

And in spite of everything
somehow this feels right.

You stand to the side.
Sometimes you can’t hear the speeches.
Sometimes you have to sit down.
Sometimes you lose track
of the friends you came with.

And there are
so many reasons not to be here.
But you’re here now
and you can’t turn back.

Say it with your chest

Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.

And you join the crowd to march.
You don’t know
where you’re going
but you’re going.

And as you march
at some point
it doesn’t matter
how many people are white,
because at some point
you feel it.

You don’t live here
but you feel it:
community.

And you are quiet,
recently wrote a whole article about it,
about how protests could never be your thing.
But then
you remember
what a black trans organizer said
before the march:

Say it with your chest.

Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.

And then
you are shouting too.
You are weaving through cars,
you are sitting down in the streets,
and cars are honking in solidarity,
and workers raise their fists
from behind closed doors,
and anxiety melts away,
because this,

this is important.

And it is hot outside,
your feet hurt,
you haven’t eaten for hours,
you’re thirsty,
and there were so many reasons
to stay home.

But you showed up.

And eventually
the march ends,
and you learn
that the police didn’t know
what to do about all of you.

And your ex thinks
you’re flushed with panic
but it’s not panic,
it’s adrenaline.

And your friend
thanks you for showing up,
and tells you
that your trans life matters.

You are not black,
you are brown,
and this is not about you,
you’ve always known this,

but for once
you feel validated,
you feel community.

And will there be victory
in your life?
You don’t know.
But your friend is waving the trans flag
out the window
and you are going to Burger King
and making fun
of white people,
of the police who couldn’t keep up,
and it’s enough.

And this was not without risk,
but this feels right,
and anyway,
if there is no risk
there is no reward.

This day will be over,
but remember
today,
and every day:

Say it with your chest.

Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.
Black trans lives matter.

— The End —