Beloved musician Neneh Cherry has released two remixes of her singles Kong and Slow Release via Bandcamp for 24 hours, with all royalties going towards Black Trans Project. Referencing the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer and the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, Cherry says, 'A policeman sat on a man’s neck until he died, who does that? All of everything started to rise. We have to rise... imagine the horizon.' While the black community faces daily racism, the black trans community faces additional discrimination and violence across all aspects of life, from everyday shopping and socialising, to a lack of fundamental human rights and basic necessities of housing and employment.
Black Trans Project is a peer-led grassroots organisation facilitated and hosted by VFD that seeks to improve the treatment of black trans people by the poorly informed medical profession, which knows very little about the medical and mental health needs of the community and is often transphobic, racist, obstructive and hostile in its delivery of care. The organisation aims to work with healthcare services and offer community support to black trans people entering the system.
Shy, a student from London, says, 'You go to the NHS and say "I am experiencing lots of transphobia from the public. Help me!" And they can't. I don't want to say that the NHS doesn't care but that is what it feels like.'
The intersectional Black Trans Lives Matter movement gained renewed momentum in 2020 following the killings of two black trans women Dominique Fells and Riah Milton in June, shortly after a black trans man, Tony McDade, was killed by the police in the US, tragedies that overlapped with Pride month. Black Trans Project aims to bring the community together and build spaces both virtual and physical, where they can share their stories, relax, and heal.
Find out more about the ongoing project here.