We have all seen the mourning and riots for George Floyd, who was a 46 year-old black man/father/partner/brother who died as he lay on the ground with a Minneapolis police officer’s knee, pressed into his neck on May 25, 2020.
Just two days later, on May 27, there was another death in Tallahassee, Florida. This death being of trans black man, Tony McDade.
It was said that the police had stopped him as they believed that he was a suspect of an attack, however, without stopping and asking him questions, the police barreled out of the car and shot Mr McDade.
From the police officer’s perspective, McDade had a gun at the time. Which is why they shot him five times and uses racial slurs such as “n****r” Them.us was told by a resident who watched on.
In Australia the Indigenous community recognises their transgender community bestowing the terms “brother boy” and “sister girl” onto what non-Indigenous people call “trans man” and “trans woman” respectively.
The Star Observer spoke to brother boy Tanner Richards, who is of Ngarrindjerri/Pitjantjatjara/Kaurna and Narungga heritage about his interactions with police. Richards said that since transitioning from assigned gender at birth to male he has been regularly pulled over for random drug and breath test. One time Police even searched his car, himself and his friends because police believed Richards and his friends had drugs on them, which they did not.
He added “I feel very nervous when I have a police officer approach me. It really makes me scared because of all the stories you hear on how bad Indigenous or dark coloured people get treated. It makes my heart feel like it’s gonna pump out my chest and makes me feel like I’m going to cry.”
“Being alone and a police officer approaches me and looks at me. I would instantly feel fear because I’m alone and I don’t know what the intentions are of this officer nor what they’re gonna say or do? It’s sad seeing my people put up with this for over 400 years. It’s even sad to hear that it’s happening all over the world to our brother boys and sister girls.”
At times as a community the LGBTQI community has had it’s own run-ins with police and their descrimination and hate.
The first Mardi Gras was in conjunction with what was happening in America then and this seems to have followed the same line for black lives matter.
Both Richards and Compton believe their emotions are felt by the larger indigenous LGBTQI community. They fear the way they look, the way they dress and the people who are meant to be keeping them safe are the ones they fear.
Compton ended with, “I barely leave my house because of my dysphoria and fear of racism. I’m scared and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I want to be just like everyone else and have a normal life, but I’m scared to walk down the street because of society and the law nowadays.”