The brutal beating of Iyanna Dior is a tragic reminder that Black trans lives should matter, too

Janet Mock / Instagram
Originally Published: 

There are police brutality and racial inequality protests happening all over America. That these gatherings are also happening during Pride month suggests a feeling of unity — like we might be able to lift up the voices of all. But a recent video of a Black trans woman, Iyanna Dior, being assaulted that has gone viral seems to be sending a message otherwise. We’ve decided not to embed the video into this story as it may disturb and trigger some, but are linking directly to tweet with the video here.

A video on Twitter posted on June 2 shows Minnesotan Iyanna Dior, a Black trans woman, being beaten over a fender bender in a large group of at least 20 people. The video, which has been viewed more than 1.9 million times, shows what appears to be a chaotic scuffle between Dior and an unidentified Black man in and outside of a convenience store/parking lot. Bystanders can be heard shouting transphobic epithets and escalating the conflict.

Thankfully, Dior can be seen escaping the large group of mostly onlookers (who fail to help her) to seek refuge behind a register, while a store employee attempts to break up the crowd. This jarring incident of violence against a trans person of color comes right after the recent high profile murders of Black trans Americans Nina Pop and Tony McDade.

A separate video, later posted on Facebook by Dior, shows her resulting injuries, including swelling, bruises, and damage to her teeth. Dior reassured followers and concerned parties that she is recovering after the incident, and people have been donating to her via Cashapp for her recovery and medical expenses.

People on social media outraged by the incident pointed out the irony in this situation: that the attack on Iyanna Dior is happening at a time where Black people want to be treated equally and peacefully by others, yet certain folx subject people in their own community to violence.

When we say Black Lives Matter, that includes Black Trans Lives as well. Full stop.