We find the week’s top Black trans and queer women stories and more so you don’t have to. 

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Man Charged in Beating Death of Islan Nettles in New York City

It’s been more than a year since Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old fashion designer and transwoman of color was brutally beaten to death in Harlem. This week New York City police officers announced that James Dixon, 24, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

The arrest caps a year and a half of often frustrating back-and-forth. Initially, another man was charged with the crime, but those charges were later dropped.

Nettles’ death sparked an outcry against violence targeting transgender women of color.

Continue reading Colorlines.

Alabama Continues Its On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With Same-Sex Marriage

Gay couples in Alabama won’t be able to get married, again, for now. [Tuesday, March 3], in a 7-1 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.

In January, U.S. District Judge Callie Granade ruled that Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. Three weeks ago, her self-imposed stay on the ruling ran its course, which meant that either the Supreme Court of the United States had to step in and hear an appeal from the state of Alabama, or same-sex marriages would begin in one of the most politically and socially conservative places in the country. SCOTUS refused to hear an appeal, so marriage equality became a reality in the deep south.

More on Autostraddle.

Carolyn Wysinger

Carolyn Wysinger

Power and Control: Domestic and Intimate-Partner Violence in LGBTQ Relationships

No one actually knows this story but me and God.

Seven years ago I was in a relationship with another woman. She was beautiful, smart and had a great career. We shared a mutual respect for family, food and good times. The woman was also an abuser. I didn’t know that at the time. I wouldn’t come to understand that until a couple of years later. I don’t think I ever considered it abuse for two reasons. The first was that, as a masculine-of-centre (MOC) identified woman, I internalized the idea that I shouldn’t admit to exhibiting any type of behaviour that is considered weak. Admitting that you were being abused by your femme partner is a definite no-no.

The second reason is that, like many, I did not know where the line between submitting to your partner and being abused actually lies. We have grown so accustomed to seeing dramatic scenes where lovers yell, argue, throw things or get physical with each other that we think nothing of the harm that it does. We are all familiar with the “dating game” and how it sometimes works in the context of emotional abuse without realizing what it actually is. It can begin subtly with mental or emotional abuse. Once the abuser is certain that they are in the position of power, they are able to start making more and more demands on your life and, in the worst cases, they maintain their control by physical abuse.

Continue reading on Media Diversified.

Georgia Clergy, Mayors to Supreme Court: Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Now

Georgia faith leaders, businesses, mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs and more have signed friend-of-the-court briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court showing their support for marriage equality. The news comes as the court announced April 28 as the date for oral arguments on the issue.

The Georgia faith leaders showing support include Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson, pastor and president of Georgia’s NAACP; Rev Dr. CT Vivian, civil rights leader and founder of the CT Vivian Leadership Institute; Bishop Keith Whitmore of Atlanta; David Key, Director of Baptist Studies at Emory University’s Candler School; and David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University.

More from the Georgia Voice.

Olivia Smarr

Olivia Smarr

Black Lives Matter to the Black Church

When I came home from college for winter break I noticed a flyer on my church’s Facebook page that said December 14th was designated as “Black Lives Matter” Sunday. It was a couple weeks after the Grand Jury decision to not indict the killer of Eric Garner was made public and tensions surrounding the constant attacks on Black lives were very high.

I was excited that my church was part of a coalition of Black churches that were taking a stand for justice on that Sunday. However, when I scrolled down on the flyer I saw a line in fine print that disappointed me: “The black church refuses to be silent with injustice facing our black males.”

I was confused. Since when was the Black Lives Matter movement only about Black men? Why is the church only proclaiming to be committed to fightingFor myself and so many others, the Black Church is more than just a place—it is a family. Going to church and being a part of it is more than just a spiritual experience, it is a cultural and social one as well. injustice facing them?

Read more over at Many Voices.

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Your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to Black queer and trans women and non-binary people.

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