Chicago Trans Liberation March

This past Friday I supported the Trans Liberation March Chicago. I read BTGNC list of demands and gave a speech about trans liberation. Here is a video of the march and the full text of my speech is below.

Trans Liberation Speech17103407_1927202584182783_1155758211698881018_n


Hello beautiful people my name is Xavier most people call me X and you can find me online as  dirtyartboi.  I wanted to take a moment…

A moment for those who walk around, between, and above genders. A moment of silence for innocent blood shed simply for being who you are. This moment is for those of us who’s ability to be true to self is a matter of life and death. For those of us who know  life is more than the need to check male or female. To those who walk among you with love, pride, and respect though our contribution to the spectrum of humanity is often misunderstood, neglected, and abused. Thank you to all the family and allies who’s love, pride and respect doesn’t depend on our ability to fit into societies’ boxes. Much gratitude to those who made the path a bit easier for me and much appreciation to the ancestors who still hold us up today.

I want to share a few of my thoughts about Liberation because  too often ideas about trans rights and trans liberation don’t include my experience as black trans queer black man.  

My liberation is not Marriage Equality There are many privileges 17155282_1927203767515998_6222986021861960918_nbuilt into marriage in america that all people should have access to if they so choose. However the way the fight for marriage has been waged is a backdoor fight for access to the status quo not a challenge to how problematic it is to tie privileges to an institution thats not for everyone. Marriage equality fails to address many of major issues. It doesn’t get ton the root of why black trans tgnc people continue to suffer from the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, incarceration, and hate motivated violence.

My liberation is not progressive politics, liberalism,reformist politics, choosing between the lesser of two evils, or participation in any process that allows the U.S. government to masquerade as a civil society.  My liberation doesn’t support xenophobia Islamophibia and the demonizing and detaining of refugees and immigrants this current administration is reviving.  We have to build a new society. stop pretending like the ship 17103319_1927200360849672_1032785269679509848_nisn’t sinking and we have to scurrying for crumbles from capitalists tables while licking the wounds from the oppression that holds the table together. There is no such thing as justice in a corrupt society driven by profit over people. I am not surprised by the recent resurgence  of white christian nationalism and xenophbia  that Trump road to office.  This has always been apart of the DNA of American culture. My people have been at war with these types of people for 100’s of years and I refuse to have the nuance of my struggle as trans and queer person be dismissed and left out of our visions of black liberation and the liberation of all oppressed people across the world.

My liberation is not Money or participating in capitalism, assimilation, or the so called american dream. My choice to transition medically isn’t about blending in and proving I can be someone else’s definition of normal. Many of the issues I face are driven by the disastrous impact of capitalism and classism in this country. Aka fuck your dirty notes and fiat currency. Fuck working for those who hate us in order to survive. My liberation means the end to having to give the majority of our physical and creative energy working in institutions that are designed to exploit our labor and pin us against each other.

My liberation is not Equality or having enough privilege to assimilate into white supremacist power structures and binaries.  Unlike too many celebrity and stays quo chasing people the goal of my transition and gender expression is not to find a place amongst wealthy elites. I don’t want to be equal to 17098595_1927202397516135_7469735253154061769_nwhite people, the so called average American, cis, hetero-normative blah blah nor any other privileged person in society.  I want to build new ways of relating to and valuing life thats not dripping with the blood of oppression and funded by the dirty american dollar. Equity to equality is is essential to trans liberation.

As for this current round of anti trans legislation and the bathroom conversation.  

The way they are framing this conversation is backwards. If people only understood how hard it is to go to a public restroom as a trans or non binary person. No matter how well you do or don’t ‘pass’ it can be full of anxiety, fear, and panic. I always feel unsafe in public restrooms. I try not to use public restrooms and plan my day around where its safe for me to pee still. I stop by my office when I’m doing things in that neighborhood just so I can use a safe single stall restroom all the time. Many of us have been harassed and beaten in restrooms. I’ve been chased out of public restrooms when I was still trying to pass as a woman and if I use a women’s restroom today someone will probably call the cops on me. I’m not a student but I work with students and and faculty on campuses all the time. Which restroom is safe for me on campus?

So they won’t enforce the law the way Obama did. There are practical things you can do where you have influence to resist how this current administration is choosing to enforce this law. There are other ways you can resist this administrations attempts at scapegoating and demonizing trans and non gender conforming people. Will you support a person when you see them being harassed for being a trans and non binary while walking down the street or sitting on the train? What have you done to make your public schools, workplaces, and public restrooms more inclusive and safe for all genders?

Barriers to finding work because of gender is what impacts our safety and ability to survive in this society just as much if not more than being harassed in restrooms. What’s the point of being safe in the restroom as a student if when you graduate you can’t find a job because another piece of legislation says a person can deny another person access to services and goods because of their gender and sexuality? What are you doing to fight the 30 pieces of anti LGBT legislation that are  using the smoke screen of religious liberty to justify a new form of legalized discrimination? Are you the children of those who fought and died for access to public spaces and employment going to sit by and let this society continue to deny access to us because of our gender identities?

This isn’t just about the safety of students in restrooms this about our right to NOT fit easily into boxes labeled male or female and to walk through this world with dignity while doing it. This is about our humanity. It’s about our right to express ourselves as freely in public spaces along side anyone else without fearing for our safety.It’s about fair access to the same spaces we help build and pay taxes to maintain. Our differences in gender identity and expressions doesn’t mean we are deviant and we will not continue to be dehumanized,denied access,criminalized, and killed without a fight.

Black Trans Lives Matter. My life matters. The lives of my sisters being ripped away too soon in these streets matter. My often d17022494_1927200357516339_287257540069699445_nemonized, overlooked and mis judged masculine  brothers and sisters matter. My non binary gender fluid peeps are essential as well. So grateful for those who lived these magical lives under the trans umbrella before me and helped me find the strength to live my truth and fight everyday with love of self no matter how much this world tries to dismiss and punish us for refusing to fit into their boxes. We are  beautiful and powerful amongst the many complicated faces of this thing called humanity. Peace blessings and All Power to the People!

More Photos From the March 

#dirtyartboi #TransUpFront #TransLiberation #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #Chicago

Not Another Tape

Not Another Tape

Not Another Tape!
Not another state sanctioned assination
Not another black body to mourn.
There is a grieving happen all over this place.
This grief is for the pigmented ones…
our sister brother cousin ones
often suppressed, miseducated, envied yet hated ones
…it feels like a permeant state this grief.
How do you live when we always dying?
How you living … we crying?
To love under oppression is to be in a constant state of grief, lost, sadness, anger?
Fatha Baldwin named it a constant state of rage.

This rage is blazing in the bellies of us the tired ,fighting, resisting, ones
Yea you I feel you raging, you the fired up and ain’t taking it no more ones.
The old, young, wild, free, aa21b679dc31672cd48fe93ebb3de727bold, queer, conscious and laying your bodies on the gears, facing fear, protesting, yelling, campaigning, demanding, and building a better world, ones.
This rage is a flame burning in the hearts of weeping mothers who’ve buried children shot down by these systems.
There is a grieving happen all over this place.
This grief is for the pigmented ones…
our sister brother cousin ones.
Targeted by too many violent system ones.

This grief is radiating from all us.
The ones who hurt when people hurt.
Those who feel powerless to stop the assault on black, brown, poor, and anybody who refuses to bow to state violence.
There is a grieving happening all over this place accompanied by a battle cry.
One moment we’re crying the next fighting.
When you’re done crying how and why
on the backs of those tears
are what now …lets go… can’t stop now… . ‪#‎strugglecontinues‬ ‪#‎DiryArtBoi‬



This Isn’t About Bad Apples

I don’t know who killed that police officer or why. (You can’t believe everything in the media) Nor am I promoting killing random cops. However the killing of a police officer does not change the reality of how much damage policing has done to our communities. Fuck The Police! They are a home based military designed to protect capital and keep the american populous in line while continuing the genocide against poor, indigenous, black, and brown bodies. They operate daily as violent state sanctioned soldiers of imperialism, capitalists & the myth of white supremacy. As for the propaganda of a “a few bad apples in in the bunch” there are good people ignorant to these realities who believe that american policing is really about people who seek to use a badge to do good. Even that type of officer is part of the problem (good intentions and all) they are still giving their talents and energies to the service of a corrupt institution in the name of a corrupt murderous nation. Real good cops have the ability to divest from policing once they realize first hand how fixed the game is. Most stay and seek a way to profit while being used to do so much damage in the name of this imperialist genocidal government. We need to find alternatives to american policing and prisons. The So called “Rhetoric”will change when police stop killing, torturing,and harassing people in the streets.‪#‎SayAllLivesMatterAgainIfYouWantTo‬ ‪#‎FTP‬

#SayHerName IF Black Lives really matter.

Had the opportunity to share some thoughts at Black Youth Project 100 Chicago Chapter, We Charge Genocide, BLM Chicago and the Chicago Light Brigade National Day of Action for Black Women and Girls last night.  I was moved by the words of  Rekia Boyd’s Mother and Niece as they shared the painful story of how CPD’s Detective Dante Servin took the life of their love one.


 Here’s the video of  what I shared and below is the speech I prepared.

#SayHerName IF Black Lives really matter. By Xavier MaatRa

If black lives really do matter why is the traditional story about state violence in the black community dominated by what’s happening to black men? Black women, queer, trans and non gender conforming people have always been  active in the fight for black freedom in America. Black women are just as targeted by state violence and their stories need to be centered as we continue to scream #BlackLivesMatter .

If it weren’t for black women we wouldn’t have a social justice movement period.  I’m here because of the words of  late greats like Claudia jones, Amy Garvey, Fannie Lou Hamer, Audre Lorde, and to name a few. As a queer, black, transgender, and masculine person, I was lucky enough to have been raised and taught by so many incredible black women. My masculinity is a direct result of the beauty and resiliency of black women, beginning with my own mother. I carry their words of love and struggle in my body. It is to their stories and wise words that I owe my life and accountability as a black man in this sexist society. Many of the powerful leaders and driving forces of the Black Lives Matter movement are queer black women. It means so much to me as a queer & trans person to witness them push to bring queer, trans, and feminist lenses to their organizing because in the black community, historically we weren’t always invited to be out and at the table. 

Queer, trans, and Non Gender Conforming people find ourselves in the crosshairs of the overlapping oppressions of racism, sexism, trans and homo phobia. Daily we also struggle to survive everything else that comes with the beast called Capitalism, who is daily creating new ways to profit from our pain. In the eyes of the state our crime is not fitting into white supremacist definitions of woman, man, and/or love.  The crime of being ourselves pushes us away from families,  our communities, and out of the workplace into the arms of the Prison Industrial Complex daily. Black gay youth are more likely to have low self esteem, depression, and experience suicidal thoughts . LGBTQ people make up about 5% of population yet 65% of all homeless people are LGBTQ and 42 % of homeless youth are GLBTQ. We must stop deserting queer youth and leaving them open to abuse and disease in the streets. As black people we often live in neglected communities with limited economic opportunities and support networks. Today about 25% of black women live in poverty. Black, queer, female, or trans, it doesn’t matter just being who we are increases our chances of coming into contact with police.  

Almost 40 percent of black transgender people have experienced police harassment. Who wants to call the police in an emergency if you have to worry about having your gender and relationships questioned or dismissed ? Why does any black person want to call the police for help when we know the historically racist and brutal ways they murder and mistreat black people.  As a black transman I have been stopped and frisked, mis gendered, mocked by police, and accused of things just for being me. Just as I understand that my survival depends on my ability to navigate the criminalization of my black body and queer masculinity. I also understand how our society polices gender and privileges masculinity. We must expand the conversation surrounding police brutality to include black women. Especially black trans women who have been victimized or murdered by police. Trans women are pressured to live up to warped ideas of womanhood and America comes down hard on them when they fall short of Eurocentric standards of beauty and femininity. Today 35 years is the average life expectancy of a trans woman. As a queer black trans masculine person sometimes I can blend in in ways that trans women can’t and with that comes much responsibility. I have the responsibility to communicate with other men about trans misogyny ,sexism, feminism, and the messed ways we treat women. I must use my access in a male dominated society to push back by seeking ways to center the needs and demands of black women. For me that doesn’t mean macho posturing about how we need to protect “females”. I center woman by stepping out of the way so that they speak for themselves and continue being as amazing as they have always been.


When it became popular to quite the stat from the Malcom X Grassroots Movement study about how black PEOPLE are killed every 28hrs by the police. Most people were saying every 28hrs a black MAN is killed by a police. Why and how was it so easy for black person to be turned into black man? Sexism is pervasive and we have to watch how its used to divide us in the struggle for black liberation. We don’t have time to argue about whether or not homosexuality is a tool for genocide in the black community (ridiculous I know but many deeply believe this) or whether or not black men have it harder than black women. The study found that one black person is killed every 28 hours. All black people are in the crosshairs of the PIC which is inherently racist and genocidal. Our freedom and peace as black people whether queer, trans, NGC, cis or straight is tied together. We must fight these overlapping systems together and centering the lives of black women and femmes is an important part of that fight.  Whatever you thought you were doing it isn’t enough. If they can shoot down Mya Hall for making the “wrong” turn and Rekia Boyd for standing with friends in her own neighborhood, who’s next? What else has to happen for us to come together to really hit the streets and fight like our lives matter?  

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‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ ‪#‎SayHerName‬‪ #‎DirtyArtBoi‬.

Classic Reframe

Classic reframe
If this isn’t war certainly these are classic war tactics
A classic reframe
They want to turn we can’t breathe to let us grieve.
How arrogantly ignorant,how blind, how heartless do you have to be to ask us?
Us… everyone who isn’t you , doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t look like you, isn’t white like you or bow to the global capitalist machine like you.
You want to ask us?
Us… the ones who you’ve been waging war against, creating myths and convincing the world to ignore our humanity, ?…
…for hundreds of years.
Cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical genocide.
names, languages ,belief systems, family ties
you can’t ask for a timeout cause you lost 2 people,
Son….. our body count is can’t count passed a billion.
You want to pause to grieve someone?
When do our beautiful black mothers get their pauses their moments to grieve?
Son….. our body count is can’t count passed a billion.
You want to pause to grieve someone?
Wow aren’t you a privileged one.
We all hurting and dying.
If you want protests to stop,
do something about these racist militarized police.
These foot soldiers of White supremacy.
Who do you serve? Who do you protect?
Lets not be distracted if you frame the conversation
you control the conversation
If this isn’t war.

Certainly these are classic war tactics

a classic reframe

they want to turn we can’t breathe
to let us grieve.
How arrogantly ignorant how blind how heartless do you have to be to ask us?

Bigger Than Police Brutality

The issue is not that we don’t know our rights, so we should learn the letter of the law and know how to recite it to police nor is it a matter of just obeying the officers to end the encounter. The truth is they know our rights and have been violating them with no fear killing and assaulting us physically and mentally without consequence for centuries. Globally it’s always the darkest and the poorest who get it most. The Panthers taught us that.

Can we address this moment in the movement without wasting time arguing about What the problem is whether police are bad or if the system is broke? Do we really need another article about racism? Racism is the fabric of society. This is not new. The only thing new about this moment is that in this age of information and through the power of social media we are able to see it in ways and at rates our society never dreamed time would reveal.

When will we stop getting mad at police and politicians for doing their jobs ? When are we going to admit to ourselves and each other that this society is doing exactly what it was designed to do….. Profit more and more by keeping us under anyone and anything’s control but that of our own minds.

How long are we going to keep trying to talk around the need to jump out of this burning ship. Oh right most of y’all like burning in this crumbling system. You’ve convinced yourself you deserve to burn. You think if you just pray and work hard enough some messiah will come along and make this thing work right …at least for you. Those are new age fairy tales. Obama taught us that.
So what is the conversation? Who knows what’s next?

-tired of videos and conversations about videos of police brutality aka Dirtyarboi