Black Trans Woman Steals Mic at CNN LGBT Event: "CNN, You Have Erased Black Trans Women For The Last Time" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Black Trans Woman Steals Mic at CNN LGBT Event: "CNN, You Have Erased Black Trans Women For The Last Time"

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A transgender woman made an impassioned speech at the CNN Equity Town Hall for more recognition for the challenges of black transgender Americans. The woman, Blossom, took the mic out of the hand of a woman who was asking a question on behalf of her adolescent transgendered son.

"Let me tell you something, black transwomen are being killed in this country. And, CNN, you have erased black trans women for the last time. Let me tell you something, black transwomen are dying. Our lives matter!" Blossom said.





"I appreciate it. Blossom, you're a black trans woman. You have the mic in your hand. I've given -- I've taken it and given it back to you. We want to hear from you. We have had trans people of color. We have all people here. And you're welcome -- but we -- but we are proud and happy that you're here. We're proud and happy that you're here. Yes, but, remember, we're under a time constraint. All right. Thank you, Blossom, and I appreciate it," Lemon said after the continued interruption.

"Yeah, that's how anti-blackness works, amongst people of color. That's what anti-blackness looks like, the erasure of black trans people," Blossom said to Lemon.

Beto then commended Blossom for standing up in the response he gave to the question from Trujillo, the person who had the mic taken from them.

"Blossom took the microphone from you, and then returned it after what she said, you acknowledged that she did not grab the mic to speak out against anybody, or to put down anybody," O'Rourke said. "She grabbed the mic to stand up for herself and other trans women of color and trans men of color that she talked about, as well. That's what democracy looks like in America."

"Thank you very much. That was very emotional. And it was real. It was real," host Don Lemon assured viewers after the disruption.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So Lizette Trujillo is here. Trujillo, make sure I get that right, and her son, Daniel. They're from Tucson, Arizona, the mother of a transgender son. She's also a member of the Human Rights Campaign, Parents for Trans Equality Council. Lizette and Daniel, go ahead.

LIZETTE TRUJILLO, MOTHER OF TRANSGENDER SON: Hi. I just want to take a moment before I ask my question to validate the pain of our transgender siblings that demonstrated earlier and that have spoken up today, especially black trans women.

(APPLAUSE)

(TRANS BLACK WOMAN LEAVES SEAT TO TAKE MIC FROM PERSON)

BLOSSOM, TRANSGENDERED WOMAN:: I don't want to take this away from you, but let me tell you something, black trans women are being killed in this country. And CNN, you have erased black trans women for the last time. Let me tell you something. Black trans women are dying. Our lives matter.

I am an extraordinary black trans woman, and I deserve to be here. My black trans sisters that are here. I am tired. I am so tired of just sitting there. And it's not just my black trans women...

LEMON: Ma'am. Ma'am.

BLOSSOM: It's my black trans brothers, too. And I will say what I'm going to say. I'm going to say what I'm going to say.

LEMON: No, no, no, just come here. No, I just want to ask you something. Come here. Tell me. I want you to talk -- what's your name?

BLOSSOM: Blossom C. Brown.

LEMON: Blossom, let me ask...

BLOSSOM: Google me. Please Google me.

LEMON: Blossom, thank you. Let me tell you something. No, don't come on the stage. And can I -- may I have the mic?

BLOSSOM: OK.

LEMON: May I have the mic? Blossom, let me tell you something. The reason that we're here is to validate people like you. That is why we're giving -- but that is why we're here.

BLOSSOM: (OFF-MIKE) your actions do not say that.

LEMON: OK, but...

BLOSSOM: Not one black trans woman has taken the mic tonight. Not one black trans man has taken the mic tonight.

LEMON: Yeah. Yeah. Hang on. We can't hear you. Blossom, we can't hear you. Here. Blossom, we can't hear you.

BLOSSOM: Baby, your actions have to speak louder than words. Because guess what? Not one black trans woman has taken the mic tonight. Not one black trans man has taken the mic tonight. Show me.

LEMON: Blossom, Blossom...

BLOSSOM: (OFF-MIKE)

LEMON: OK, thank you, I appreciate it. Blossom, you're a black trans woman. You have the mic in your hand. I've given -- I've taken it and given it back to you. We want to hear from you. We have had trans people of color. We have all people here. And you're welcome -- but we -- but we are proud and happy that you're here. We're proud and happy that you're here. Yes, but, remember, we're under a time constraint. All right. Thank you, Blossom, and I appreciate it.

BLOSSOM: Yeah, that's how anti-blackness works, amongst people of color. That's what anti-blackness looks like, the erasure of black trans people.

LEMON: All right.

BLOSSOM: I'm here. We are here in this room. Please give us that opportunity.

LEMON: Blossom, thank you so much. And we appreciate it. Thank you very much. Yes, no, I got it. There we go.

(APPLAUSE)

Congressman, please address that. Do you want to address that?

O'ROURKE: I'd be happy to. Yeah.

LEMON: Thank you, Blossom.

BLOSSOM: I just want to remind everyone that Stonewall was led by transgender women of color, and it's 15 years later, and we're still failing you as a community. But there are mothers like me and other community members that are committed to change. And so thank you for allowing that.

LEMON: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

TRUJILLO: So many school districts are focusing on implementing age- appropriate, comprehensive, medically accurate, and inclusive sex education. We know that this curriculum reduces risks, creates informed communities, and reduces incidents of bullying against LGBTQ students, like my child. These efforts are met with attacks by opponents and oftentimes target transgender youth and their families. As president, how do you plan to tackle this?

O'ROURKE: Thank you for being here. And, Daniel, I'm glad that you're here, as well.

Two things. One, I want to make sure that we follow your lead, and we share with our fellow Americans, who may not have a transgender child, just what it's like not to be the perpetrator of attacks, as many Americans are made to fear, including what these transgender bathroom bills that we saw in North Carolina and that we saw recently in Texas, but to acknowledge that transgender children are far more often the victims than they are the perpetrators of those attacks.

And if we include education in our public schools, in addition to traditional instruction, the full social and emotional well-being of every child, regardless of who they are, not only is that child going to do better, that class is going to do better, that community is going to do better, and we as a country are going to do better.

And then I want to commend you, because after Blossom took the microphone from you, and then returned it after what she said, you acknowledged that she did not grab the mic to speak out against anybody, or to put down anybody. She grabbed the mic to stand up for herself and other trans women of color and trans men of color that she talked about, as well. That's what democracy looks like in America.

(APPLAUSE)

And I love that you talked about Stonewall 50 years ago, or I think about ACT UP in the 1980s or 1990s, or PrEP for All today in 2019. It is those activists who are willing to stand up like you are, like Blossom is, and like Daniel is right now, stand up to be counted and to make sure that all of us are counting them in. That's the only way that we've ever achieved change, civil rights, and progress in America. So thank you for being a leader in this.

(APPLAUSE)

O'ROURKE: Grateful. Thank you. Yes.

LEMON: Thank you very much. That was very emotional. And it was real. It was real.



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