SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Shreveport LGBTQ+ community marched from The Korner Lounge to the Caddo Courthouse Sunday afternoon for trans lives in conjunction with 45 Days of Action Shreveport. Afterwards, they held a Facebook Live panel discussion.
Marv Kevea Campbell is the event organizer and says the LGBTQ+ community felt compelled to bring awareness to Black trans lives, because they are often excluded from the conversation about inequality and injustices.
“During the entire Black Lives Matter movement, Black trans are dying at a disproportionate rate. It seems that every year since 2015 the deaths began to multiple,” said Campbell.
Grace Rambo is the LBGTQ+ organizer with We The People and says when they say Black Lives Matter, All Black lives matter. That includes Black trans lives. Some protesters honored the late Vontashia Bell who was a Black trans woman shot dead in a Cedar Grove neighborhood in 2018. Her case is still open.
“The family did not reconize the Vontashia Bell’s identity. It’s been hard to find somebody who is willing to speak for her, but that does not mean that we can not fight for her case to be solved,” said Rambo.
For Kenny Houston, who is a cis Black man, he thought it vital to support all movements. He says if you’ve supported other protests in Shreveport and Louisiana, you should support ones with causes that don’t directly support you.
“You can come out and you can actually learn something from their protests and learn some of their struggles and realize its the same as yours,” said Houston.
They gave a list of demands that they want to see in the community of Shreveport
1. To create spaces that are more welcoming to the LGBTQ+ members who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color. This includes a zero tolerance policy for racial discrimination or mistreatment
2. To create spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals to socialize without the presence of alcohol
3. To create spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals that include persons under the age of 21
4. To create more inclusive events throughout the year besides Pride in the Park, NLGLFF. These should include but are not limited to Shreveport Q-Prom, Queenport and Pride Fashion Show
5. To collaborate with other organizations outside the LGBTQ+ community such as the Power Coalition and We The People.