In a shocking incident, Iyanna Dior, a 21-year-old African American transwoman was beaten brutally by a mob in Minneapolis on June 1, 2020. The mob comprising most men attacked Dior allegedly due to a fender-bender! A video of the incident went viral on social media sending shockwaves across the nation. The video is not being shared here on account of its extremely violent and triggering nature.
But what the video does show is that a majority of the assailants were African American men, prompting many to ask if the lives of Black transgender persons were somehow considered less valuable than those of cis-gender heterosexual people. That the incident took place in Minneapolis, the very city where George Floyd was killed, and that the attack on Dior comes in the middle of racial unrest taking place across the country is not lost on anyone, especially Black transgender women and activists.
Dior’s assault sparked outrage on social media with many prominent voices from the transgender community speaking up against it.
Among politicians, senator Kamala Harris weighed in on the importance of protecting all Black lives, including those of Black transgender persons.
However, in an even uglier turn of events some people tried to take advantage of the huge outpouring of support for Dior and started collecting funds pretending to be Dior!
But they were caught when her actual fundraising account information was made public. Iyanna Dior’s actual account handle is $NajaBabiie (Dainaja).
Meanwhile, words of support continued to pour in from activist groups, as well as artists and public figures for Dior.
This is not the first time a transgender person of color has been assaulted or killed in the recent past. Just two days ago, Tony McDade, a 38-year-old Black transgender man was shot and killed by the police in Tallahassee, Florida. According to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in 2019 alone, 26 transgender or gender non-confirming people were killed as a result of acts of violence. In 2020, at least 12 more such case have come to light so far. However, HRC warns that the actual number could be much higher, saying, “As is too often the case in the reporting of anti-transgender violence, many of these victims are misgendered in local police statements and media reports, which can delay our awareness of deadly incidents.”