In honor of Trangender Day of Remembrance, the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign is launching a new campaign called Phenomenally Trans to spotlight the epidemic of Black trans women who have been killed. Notable community members including Miss Major, Sir Knight, and boxer Pat Manuel are sporting special tees on social media all day in support.
“This campaign calls on everyone to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in acts of anti-trans violence, the majority of them Black trans women,” Phenomenal Woman founder, Meena Harris, tells Out. “What we're experiencing is not just a tragedy, it's also an epidemic. It's up to all of us to address gender-based violence so that trans people can live phenomenally and free."
The Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, inspired by Maya Angelou’s legendary “Phenomenal Woman” poem, is a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes. Surely you’ve seen its “Phenomenal Woman” t-shirts flooding your timeline by the likes of Ciara, Serena Williams, and Janet Mock, sometimes worn to celebrate Angelou’s birthday or advocate on behalf of women’s rights.
Net proceeds from the shirts go toward supporting community organizations including Black Futures Lab, Native Voices Rising, and Families Belong Together, among others.
In addition to the “Phenomenal Woman” shirt, the group also has merch emblazoned with “Phenomenally Brown,” “Phenomenal Voter,” and “Phenomenally Asian,” and more across identity markers. The new shirt, released today, is baby blue with the words “Phenomenally Trans” in pink, the colors of the trans flag. Proceeds from the $35 tee will benefit Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project, which Harris calls “an organization that works inside and outside of prisons to create a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.”
The shirt comes out on Transgender Day of Remembrance, the annual Nov. 20 event inspired by Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who was brutally murdered in 1998 and whose death echoed across the country. The day was founded by trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith almost one year after Hester’s death, marking this year as its 20th anniversary.
"The Phenomenally Trans campaign is about us — and celebrating us in public while we’re alive,” says advocate and writer Ashlee Marie Preston. “I’m incredibly proud to be a part of a campaign that makes visible the challenges we face, and celebrates our contributions to every community in America."
Influencer Miles McKenna added: "Transgender Day of Remembrance is to honor the lives of trans people that we have lost to violence. So let’s honor together. I’m so proud to be apart of this campaign and bring community to you because you are not alone. RIP to all who we have lost."
This year alone, at least 20 trans or gender non-conforming people have reportedly been murdered, the overwhelming majority of them Black trans women.
Check out some of the social media posts below:
Julian Van Horne