Demi Lovato and Gabrielle Union Spoke Out for Trans Youth in Emotional Messages
“Be proud of who you are. Keep your voices loud and strong,” Lovato said.
Demi Lovato, Gabrielle Union, and Dwayne Wade are ready and willing to fight for trans youth and trans people of color—and they're all encouraging us to stand up and do the same. Before introducing a performance by Shea Diamond during July 30th’s 2020 GLAAD Media Awards, Lovato issued a call to action for the public to stand up for our trans friends, allies, and family members. In the same ceremony, Union and Wade opened up about learning from their daughter, Zaya.
“It's never been more important to celebrate the acceleration of acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community, especially trans people of color who face outrageous discrimination and danger," Lovato, who has spoken about coming out as sexually fluid, said. "To all the trans youth, I want to make sure that you know that you matter."
Because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the U.S., Lovato knows that it can be more difficult to connect to your support network, and she addressed that specifically.
"I know things are crazy hard right now and you may not have your usual support system around you," she continued. "But don't let anyone, especially our government, fool you into thinking you are anything less than perfect and meant to be."
"Be proud of who you are. Keep your voices loud and strong and know that we are fighting for you."
She continued, introducing singer and trans rights activist Shea Diamond: "If you ever doubt it, just listen to this next performer—an incredibly talented Black trans woman who reminds us that we are America."
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union also spoke up for trans youth during the GLAAD Awards. Before presenting the Outstanding Drama Series award to Pose, Wade thanked his daughter Zaya for all she has taught him.
''Our daughter Zaya is leading us on this journey,” Wade said, per InStyle. ''I want to thank Zaya for teaching me and GLAAD for elevating the images and messages that accelerate acceptance in every family.''
“That mission means even more to us now as we raise all of our Black children,” Union added.
“Black lives matter and Black trans lives matter," she said. "We are calling on all of our racial justice warriors out there to open your hearts and your minds to the LGBTQ+ community so that we can work together and empower each other and save lives.''
The Human Rights Campaign reported earlier this month, per Pink News, that at least 21 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. This number is staggering. In comparison, 2019 saw 27 trans deaths.
Since beginning its record-keeping on trans murders in 2013, the organization notes it has “never seen such a high number at this point in the year.” Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Bree Black, and Summer Taylor were four of these 21 trans victims who were all violently killed within a single week.
If you’d like to join Union, Wade, and Lovato in fighting for our trans loved ones, check out the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, The Trevor Project, and Transgender Law Center, for starters, to donate and learn more about how to get involved and be a better ally.