Black trans women are being murdered at shocking rates. And while it’s a good thing that the media is covering these tragedies (some times), it’s also incredibly sad that these murders haven’t subsided even as the trans community grows in visibility offscreen and onscreen.

“There’s been 17 Black trans women who have been killed,” Mj Rodriguez, who plays Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista on Pose, told ESSENCE on the red carpet earlier this month before growing tearful. “I’m sorry. I don’t wanna cry…but that’s really ridiculous.”

Writer and director of Pose Janet Mock, who just secured a three-year multi-million overall deal with Netflix, added: “I’m so glad that there’s so much more awareness and visibility of Black trans women, but we also know that makes them so much more vulnerable and puts a greater target on their backs.”

While awareness is absolutely what’s needed for trans women, especially when it comes to being made aware of their untimely deaths, Black trans women who are alive and living need to be protected right now.

“I’m really interested in seeing Black Lives Mater get more proactive,” Indya Moore, who shines as Angel Evangelista on the FX series said, “and talk about the deaths of Black trans people. What are we if we don’t hold our own community accountable for the violence that happens within it?”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: Indya Moore, Angelica Ross and Janet Mock attends the FX Network’s “Pose” Season 2 Premiere – After Party on June 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

At the red carpet premiere of the second season of Pose, ESSENCE asked the cast to share more action items of what we as a community can do to ensure safety for Black trans women.

Check out the video above to see what the cast of Pose said before turning into FX’s Pose, which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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