San Francisco’s Castro district is known as one of the historic centers of America’s gay community. But for generations, it’s remained fiercely white. This dynamic was a centerpiece of filmmaker Marlon Riggs’s iconic 1989 documentary “Tongues Untied,” which examined how black gay men related to one another. And it’s still relevant today.
That past and present is the reason why the Castro became ground zero for queer and transgender activists who have been active in the Black Lives Matter movement. On January 17, the group marched through the heart of the Castro as part of 96 hours of actions taken to #ReclaimMLK last weekend.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement gains strength nationwide, the larger LGBT community and our allies can no longer stand on the sidelines,” the collective of activists wrote in a statement to Colorlines. “The assault on Black lives is an LGBT issue. The average life expectancy of a Black transgender woman is 35 years. In 2013, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs reported that 72 percent of hate crimes were against trans women, 89 percent of whom were transgender women of color.”
Here’s video from last weekend’s action: