On Saturday (September 28), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted its 23rd annual National Dinner, which honors advocates for LGBTQ+ equality.
When “Pose” star Dominique Jackson accepted the HRC National Equality Award, she told the room of about 3,500 people: “You do not have the power to accept or tolerate me; I take that from you. You will respect me.”
HRC honored Jackson, who plays saucy Elektra Abundance on the FX series, alongside Ricky Martin, the HRC National Visibility Award recipient. Per HRC, her award was specifically for being “a great advocate for social change, transforming her community through her partnership with nonprofit organizations such as Destination Tomorrow in the Bronx to advocate for transgender and LGBTQ+ rights.” In her speech, Jackson powerfully laid bare the inhumane war being waged against trans people of color and the need for everyone to honor their humanity.
My loves, as a trans woman of color, we face violence. We face brutality. We face so much…. We talk about love, but we forget about humanity. I am a human being just like each and every one of you and it is time that we stop with the aesthetic. It's time that we stop with the privilege…. Each and every one of you who has the ability to stand in this room has some kind of privilege. You have some kind of existence that you know. I am a woman that was ostracized. I am a woman of Caribbean descent. I’m a woman of transgender experience. I’m a woman, but some of you don’t see that. My brothers and sisters hurt. We are murdered…. To each and every one of you, it is about us understanding and respecting humanity.
Watch her full speech: