Aspirations of Equality
It’s the 50th anniversary of Pride - a commemoration of the Stonewall demonstrations waged by the queer community to live life free from oppression and discrimination in the United States. This is a Pride month like we’ve never seen before; one that highlights the distinct parallels between Stonewall and the Black Lives Matter movement where Black individuals and allies are fighting to live free from systemic oppression and racial discrimination.
One of the most prominent figures who emerged from Stonewall and paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community was a Black transgender woman named Marsha P. Johnson. Her fight was one that many are still facing today. Being both transgender or gender non-conforming and Black gives rise to an even greater threat to personal freedom and safety, as one must overcome the combined forces of racism and transphobia. Because of this, RXBAR is recognizing the intersection of these historic human rights movements by bringing awareness to the issues disproportionately impacting Black transgender people. The US Trans Survey, a survey of over 27,000 transgender people conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality*, reveals that:
- One in five (20%) Black respondents is unemployed, compared to 15% of the overall survey respondents. The unemployment rate among Black trans people was four times higher than the unemployment rate in the U.S. population overall (5%) and twice the rate among Black people in the U.S. population (10%).
- 42% of Black transgender or gender non-conforming respondents reported having experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. One in four (25%) respondents who experienced homelessness in the past year avoided staying in a shelter because they feared being mistreated as a transgender person.
- 38% of Black transgender people reported living in extreme poverty compared to 29% in the sample overall. This was substantially higher than the poverty rate in the U.S. population overall (12%) and the poverty rate among Black people in the U.S. population (24%).
- 67% of Black respondents said they would feel somewhat or very uncomfortable asking the police for help, compared to 57% of respondents in the survey overall.
Understanding that words without actions do little, RXBAR has donated $10,000 to the National Center of Transgender Equality, $10,000 to GLAAD, and $20,000 to My Block, My Hood, My City to help combat these staggering statistics, further initiatives for LGBTQ+ equality and to inspire the candid dialogue and individual empathy that leads to societal change.We will also supply healthy and delicious RXBARs to keep those marching for equality fueled, so stay tuned for details.
In these turbulent times, I am reminded of MLK’s declaration that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” as it highlights that our offense to injustice and discrimination is to speak out and act out against immorality no matter the victim. Like Stonewall, the Black Lives Matters movement signals a cause for hope for justice in America, but we know that there is still much to be done if we are to get there.
RXBAR doesn’t have all the answers, but we do have our values: Empathy, Inclusivity, Justice, Kindness, and Anti-Racism. We are committed to empowering the LGBTQ+ and Black communities on the foundation of those values, by standing up for them and the issues that matter to them most. To us, it is critical that every employee, consumer and individual be empowered to be their real and authentic selves. We participate in Pride because it aligns with our purpose to be the best real food protein bar that fuels all people and lifestyles. I am proud of our RXBAR community’s shared advocacy on behalf of the oppressed and excluded who have found a voice in these two important Movements.
If you too would like to get more involved, review GLAAD’s Pride Guide for events and resources.
Let’s continue to march together.