This Is an UPRISING
Playboy Africa|December 2020
When it comes to whiteness and privilege in America, there are no innocent bystanders
ASHLEE MARIE PRESTON

It was after midnight, and I’d just turned 36 years old. The estimated life expectancy for a trans woman of color had once been reported to be just 35. As I lay in bed facing the ceiling, tears made their way from the outer corners of my eyes and down the nape of my neck. I thought about everyone who had trudged with me through one of the most disenfranchised chapters of my life. Yet unlike myself, they didn’t make it. I thought about what their story would have been like had they received the opportunities I’ve been given over the years; they were most definitely worthy of them.

Although I’d officially “made it” and beat the statistic, the sense of urgency I’d carried prior to turning 36 hadn’t dissipated in the least bit. Instead, I continue to carry the burden of making sure my trans sisters “made it” as well. It’s what Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera would have done, and the fact that I’d beaten the most insurmountable odds while dangerously marginalized, proved me to be indomitable. In the words of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, p“When the dust settles, I want a whole bunch of transgender girls to stand up and say, I’m still fucking here.” I am still determined to push back against racial and gender-based injustices, now armed with the belief that Black trans women are not statistics. We are our ancestors’ greatest hopes, dreams and aspirations—and we deserve the chance to manifest our own.

My work isn’t done simply because I beat out a statistic formed by a system that continues to produce the conditions that keep those statistics in place. We must dismantle systemic transmisogynoir, which describes our experiences at the intersections of racism, sexism and transphobia. In the LGBTQ community, I’m faced with anti-blackness. In the feminist movement, I’m faced with the erasure of my womanhood. And in the Black community I have to prove that Black trans lives matter too, without my plight being deemed a distraction from collective Black liberation.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PLAYBOY AFRICAView All

THE DOPE TUTOR ANSWERS: WHAT DOES WEED LAW HAVE TO DO WITH RACISM?

The history of cannabis law in America is one of injustice, with people of color bearing the brunt of a system weighted against them

3 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Penthesilea

Such an honour to have a gorgeous and talented beauty feature!

2 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Miranda Fountain - Gorgeous And Talented Beauty

Such an honour to have a gorgeous and talented beauty feature!

3 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

A Guide To Cyber Sex From A Cam Girl

With a global health crisis separating partners from each other, it’s time to get creative with long-distance trysts

7 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Amber Bernard - Beauty And Brains

Beauty And Brains

2 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Playboy Interview - Kanye West

A candid conversation with the record of the year contender about his Katrina controversy, hip-hop homophobia and his addictions to porn and sex

10+ mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Luana Sandien - 'I Love Fashion And I'm Very Feminist'

Luana! Such an honour to have an absolutely gorgeous and talented beauty feature as our March Cover!

6 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Isabelle Miller: 'One Superpower I'd Love To Have Is The Ability To Predict The Future'

Such an honour to have a gorgeous and talented beauty feature!

2 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

Dr. Strange Test: Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV

Or: How our White House correspondent realized he would never learn to stop worrying and love Trump

7 mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021

20Q: Halle Berry

Hollywood’s freshest face speaks out on insulting rap lyrics and recreational swearing, and warns Robin Givens not to pick a fight

10+ mins read
Playboy Africa
March 2021
RELATED STORIES

Angels of Grace

This single mom is responsible for the big family you see here. Learn how she cares for hundreds of other children

5 mins read
Guideposts
April 2021

POP QUIZ!

Pet Allergies? Get the Facts on the Best Way to Cope

3 mins read
Central Florida Health News
March 2021

Trouble Swallowing?

If you experience difficulty swallowing, you might have a recently recognized condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, which may be caused by food allergies.

5 mins read
Better Nutrition
February 2021

MAKE WINTER EASIER FOR YOUR OLD HORSE

The season ahead may be hard on aging horses in cold climates but with some planning and preparation you can help yours sail through until spring.

10+ mins read
Equus
Winter 2020

Hygiene is Overrated

But keep washing your hands.

6 mins read
The Atlantic
July - August 2020

Riptide look-alikes

It didn’t dawn on me until I was safe back on the beach

3 mins read
Angels on Earth
July/Aug 2020

Do You React to Corn?

This common veggie is hidden in multitudes of food products, and if you’re sensitive to it, you can experience everything from rashes and abdominal pain to cravings and binge-eating

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
March 2020

Prickly Issue

The selective way in which the government is vaccinating the population came in for stricture from the Delhi High Court which asked it to explain why it was keeping such “strict control” over the process

5 mins read
India Legal
March 29, 2021

REPAIR YOUR AIR

Ensure your quality of air is topnotch and reap the benefits

2 mins read
Woman’s Day Magazine NZ
March 15, 2021

REPAIR YOUR AIR

Ensure your quality of air is topnotch and reap the benefits

2 mins read
Woman's Day Australia
March 15, 2021