Democratic presidential candidates attended a CNN-hosted town hall Thursday night focused on LGBT rights. The event was repeatedly disrupted by activists demanding attention to the epidemic of violence against black and brown transgender women. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was interrupted by activists holding a banner and chanting “trans lives matter” as the openly gay mayor was being questioned by Anderson Cooper. In another interruption, activist Blossom C. Brown took the mic from another audience member.
Blossom C. Brown: “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’m 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! … Not one black trans woman has taken the mic tonight. Not one black trans man has taken the mic tonight.”
At least 18 black transgender women have been killed so far this year.