At CNN’s Equality Town Hall on Thursday (October 10) trans actress Blossom C. Brown interrupted a questioner during Beto O’Rourke’s set six candidates in and declared, “Black trans women are being killed in this country and CNN, you have erased Black trans women for the last time!” With the mic in her hand, and placing herself in the middle of an aisle to face the audience, Brown continued, “Let me tell you something, Black trans women are dying. Our lives matter!”
At the historic event, nine 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates addressed issues pertinent to the LGBTQ+ community and pledged to fight for equal protections in federal law, to outlaw dangerous practices such as conversion therapy and to lift restrictions on gay men donating blood. By the seventh candidate, Brown was boiling. “Sitting here at this @CNN Townhall and yet not one single Black Transwoman nor man has taken the mic to ask questions,” Brown tweeted from the event.
When Brown took the mic CNN’s Don Lemon attempted to assuage her by saying the forum for was people of color like her. Brown retorted, “Baby, your actions have to speak louder than words, because guess what? Not one Black trans woman has taken the mic tonight. Not one Black trans man has taken the mic tonight!” (CNN reported that questions from Black transgender people appeared later in the program.)
.@BlossomCBrown PREACH! My sister Blossom Brown did the right thing at the #EqualityTownHall “Not one black trans woman, not one black trans man has taken the mic tonight.” This was erasure IMHO. I stand with Blossom and all #TWOC @CNN @HRC @donlemon ???? pic.twitter.com/1ZKXQqsi1n— Meghan Stabler (@MeghanStabler) October 11, 2019
After the town hall, O’Rourke tweeted his appreciation to Brown:
Blossom, thank you for making your voice heard tonight. We will hold a town hall focused on trans women of color. And I hope you’ll be there. https://t.co/xCCXc5MW0t— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 11, 2019
O’Rourke wasn’t the only one who thanked Brown for giving voice to the Black trans community, as many on Twitter have since praised her also:
.@BlossomCBrown is simply incredible and I appreciate her demanding her space. So often we try to stick to rules because of “timing” and “fairness.” No, all rules are susprended when Black trans women are being killed at alarming rates. #EqualityTownHall— Preston Mitchum (@PrestonMitchum) October 11, 2019
In case you missed it, this moment made my year. When Black trans women are given the mic, given the platform, given the funds, given the opportunity, we all progress. Thanks @BlossomCBrown for your courage, for being Black about it, for taking space.— Dana White (@DanaVivianWhite) October 11, 2019
THIS IS THE BEST PIECE ON TV HISTORY EVER.— Samy Nemir-Olivares (@Samynemir) October 11, 2019
A shame it needed for a Black Trans woman to reclaim their time and grab the mic instead of @Cnn & @hrc planned head on.
Thanks Blossom to speak truth to power. Stonewall was a protest. We are still in protest.#EqualityTownHall https://t.co/WZhJ6gBKKl
Audience member, Blossom, takes the mic during @BetoORourke’s question. Blossom called out CNN for not allowing black trans men or women to ask q’s tonight.— Tim Perry (@tperry518) October 11, 2019
O’Rourke responded during his answer saying Blossom took the mic not to put anyone down, but to stand up for herself