On Tuesday, just after midnight, 21-year-old Iyanna Dior of Minneapolis took to Facebook and posted, simply:
“I just got my ass beat.”
We know Dior got beat up, because the world watched it happen, again and again, on videos posted to social media. Footage of people mobbing her at a Twin Cities gas station has been passed around ad infinitum. There’s a moment in which Dior disappears in the frenzy of bodies, as she’s slammed repeatedly against an ice cream cooler and dragged momentarily from the store to the curb.
The video's upsetting to watch.
Iyanna Dior a black trans woman was beaten yesterday by a crowd of over 30 people over a fender bender. Black men I don’t have it in me to write a long post cishet Black women i don’t have it In me to reprimand you all either. DO BETTER #allblacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/SmKutbPGbi— HopeGiselle (@HopeDisguised) June 2, 2020
In a Facebook video shared after the attack, she explained she'd been trying to move a friend's car when she hit cars parked in the neighborhood, which she described as a "hood, gang area." Dior says she offered to pay one person $500 for the damage, and that she'd wanted to get to the gas station as tempers flared.
"I wanted to get to the store," she said, "because the only thing that's running through my mind is, if I'm going to die, I'm going to die on camera."
As of last week, neither the Minneapolis nor the St. Paul Police Departments had received official reports. Even still, the story of people ganging up to hurt a Black trans woman struck a brutally familiar chord with many.
According to advocates with the Human Rights Campaign, at least 26 trans and gender-nonconforming people were killed in the United States last year. The majority of the victims were Black women. Already, the Campaign says, 2020 has seen the deaths of at least 12 more people.
“We say at least because too often these stories go unreported – or misreported,” the Campaign said in a report.
The names of this year's fallen include Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was allegedly killed by police in Tallahassee only days before Dior was attacked and days after George Floyd, another Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police officers.
“LGBTQ+ people – historically and currently – face higher rates of violence than their straight and cisgender peers,” OutFront Minnesota, a queer and trans advocacy group, said Wednesday. “These rates of violence drastically increase for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) LGBTQ+ communities.”
And the trans community, especially trans women of color, also frequently face violence from the police, OutFront added.
Black Visions Collective, a grassroots organization led by black queer and trans activists, sounded off the night after the attack.
“Transphobia is violence and we are NOT going to be free unless our Black trans sisters, brothers, and siblings are free/safe,” the Collective said.
Dior has posted a few videos since footage of the attack got out, mostly thanking people for their help. She’s received an outpouring of support from the trans community and allies, as well as donations. If you want to help, you can donate to her Cash App handle: $IyannaDIO.