The year 2020 has been tragic for myriad reasons—and a terrifying one for the transgender and non-gender-conforming community, which has lost 37 lives to violence this year, the majority of which were Black and Latinx transgender women. It is a staggering statistic rightfully called “an epidemic of violence” by USA Today; according to the Human Rights Campaign, the number sets a disturbing new record, once again underscoring the urgency of transgender rights and protections.
In honor of International Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 and in support of transgender rights, Pyer Moss has partnered with the Marsha P. Johnson Institute through their “Exist to Resist” platform, introducing its third installment on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“A part of our role as creatives in this world is to observe and listen to those who are identifying and challenging the ills that plague our present and our future,” said Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder and creative director of Pyer Moss, in a statement. “The Marsha P. Johnson Institute stood out to us as an organization that is protecting and defending the basic human rights of Black transgender people and we see it as our job to support them and amplify their voices rather than speak for them.”
Per a release sent to The Glow Up:
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to elevating, supporting and nourishing the voices of Black trans people. In honor of International Transgender Day of Remembrance, Pyer Moss is releasing a limited-edition tee that depicts an image of Johnson with the words “Legendary” and “Alive” displayed across the back of the shirt—a nod to Johnson’s invaluable work in the community. The tee will retail for $100 and will be available exclusively on pyermoss.com. Proceeds will be donated to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
“We are honored to collaborate with a strong Black fashion house, led by Kerby Jean-Raymond, a visionary who sees the world in Black. Together, with Pyer Moss, we are amplifying Black trans voices and the issues affecting our community,” said founder & Executive Director of the Marsha P. Johnson Institute Elle Hearns. “As we reflect on the lives of Black trans people during International Transgender Day of Remembrance, the word ‘Alive,’ printed on the back of the limited-edition tee should serve as a reminder to everyone to love, humanize, and celebrate people while they are still here.”
Hearns is featured in a micro-documentary produced by the label (below), in which she speaks about the work of her organization, the dignity of the trans community, and the Institute’s mission to create a world that is equitable, safe and respectful of trans lives; and in which they can not only survive, but thrive. As the release continues:
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute stands to interrupt violence against Black trans people. They are doing this in conjunction with Pyer Moss’ Exist to Resist during Transgender Day of Remembrance with their More Than Just a Number campaign. Every time a Black trans woman is murdered, media outlets begin rapidly reporting numbers instead of a true conversation. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute recognizes Transgender Day of Remembrance as a day to celebrate life and honor resilience.
As for “Exist to Resist,” it’s an ongoing platform at Pyer Moss “designed to spotlight the important work of social justice organizations, helping to support them through the release of limited-edition products “to raise awareness and donations to support that organizations’ community efforts,” according to the release. Previously, the platform has supported the Innocence Project and Rock the Vote.
The Pyer Moss x Marsha P. Johnson Institute “Legendary” tee is a classic black crewneck with an oversized unisex fit, manufactured in Los Angeles. Retailing for $100 exclusively on pyermoss.com, proceeds will be donated to The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.