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There have been a string of deaths of Black Trans Women across the country. Jacque Reid goes Inside Her Story with Trans activist and author Hope Giselle, who is created the first LGBT organization on the campus of Alabama State University.

One trans woman recently found dead was, Layleen Polanco, who died while at Rikers Island. Giselle explains that Polanco was thrown into solitary after an alleged “scuffle” with another inmate. The issue here is that she suffered from epilepsy; and though she could be heard screaming for help, no one helped her. She was found dead in her cell.

Black trans women are a “triple minority,” Giselle explains. They’re female, a member of the LGBT community and Black. Because of this they have little faith in police departments, they view the police as, “the enemy.”

“If we do not protect ourselves no one is going to do it for us,” she explains. Not even the Black community because Black people “love everything Black until that Black thing has something to do with queerness.” She urges the Black community to be true allies and stand up for trans women.


Inside Her Story: Black Trans Women Deserve Safety  was originally published on