Indya Moore has never lived their life with the mantra of “shut up and act” or “shut up and pose.” As an actress, model and trans person, they have always used their platform to raise awareness around the issues and violence Black trans women face.
Thursday night was no different.
On New York Fashion Week’s opening night at the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards, Moore used the red carpet as a call to action. There to accept the “Cover of the Year Award” for her historic Elle magazine cover earlier this year, she rocked a gorgeous red Oscar de la Renta gown, pairing them with long cascading Beads By Aree keepsake earrings that paid homage to 16 Black trans murdered this year.
Each gold frame held a picture of women including Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Muhlaysia Booker, and Michelle “Tamika” Washington to name a few. In addition, her clutch had a picture of 17-year-old Bailey Reeves.
“Thank you Aree, for sharing your keepsake earrings so I could bring my sister’s with me tonight,” the 24-year-old Louis Vuitton spokesperson wrote on Instagram.
According to W, during her speech, Moore told the crowd, “As you all know, or not, I am Black, and I am trans. Right now the Supreme Court [is] voting on whether or not trans people can access employment, shelter, and healthcare in the same ways that you all have access,” making it a difficult time, they added, “to celebrate being celebrated for being myself.”
In a post on Instagram, jewelry designer Areeayl Yoseefaw explained the story behind the concept for the Keepsake line and how she created a customized set for Moore.
“The first “Keepsake” earring was created to honor my Iya (godmother) who passed this April. Not knowing what to do in the darkest times of my life, I held on to love. I was inspired by love and representation of it. In each frame, I inserted images of my sisters who my Iya has raised. They carry her in their faces and are a reminder of her presence to me simply by being themselves. We’re all entangled. We may look like one person but we show up as many,” she wrote.
She added that Moore’s stylist Ian Cogneato and the actress caught wind of her line and “wanted to pay tribute to and also build awareness for the 17 (now 18) trans women who were murdered this year in the USA.”
“The issue is so pressing that after creating the earring and three days before the event, Bailey Reeves, a 17-year-old girl from Baltimore was killed. For her, Indya carried a frame around with her face,” Yoseefaw wrote.
Moore’s jewelry, she continued, “served as an altar,” and their speech “was both a prayer for the future and a call to action. In their hour of celebration, they put their trans sisters [at] the forefront. They spoke for those who cannot and became a light for everyone.”
On Friday morning, Moore continued with their message on Instagram: “Just like me these women dare to exhaust their freedom to exist by being visible, however, instead of being celebrated, they were punished for it,” they captioned a repost of Yoseefaw’s photo. “While we make up .6 percent of the American population, the life expectancy of trans women/femmes is 35 years old.”
They also posted about Reeves and Bee Love, of Florida, who was found dead in a car this week.
Bravo to Moore. But not all the responsibility to protect Black trans women should be put on Black trans women. These earrings are a call to action, a call that Black cisgender folks MUST answer as well.
Now is the time to stand up, love and support our sisters by fighting for a better and more welcoming world that allows them to live their fullest and longest lives.
We owe them that. Now let’s get to it.