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by: hunter shackelford


THE CALL OUT. Black cisgender* men perpetuate, weaponize, and benefit from misogynoir, toxic masculinity, and rape culture. Your commitment to unpacking these things ensures that Black trans people, Black queer people, Black women, Black children, and Black people don't die for what goes unhealed within you. The fear you feel around police is the same terror we feel around you. If you believe in a world without police, if you believe in a world without cages - abolition means killing the part of the state that lives within you. Police don't just kill us, you do too. If you truly want to get free, actively divest from the systems you inherited. This means refusing to believe that as a Black cis-man that you're entitled to anyone's body, performance, looks, identity, or labor. This means recognizing that even if you never kill us, you uphold the cultural ideologies that affirm our deaths. This means understanding that even if you don't abuse, assault or rape us, you protect the people and the systems that do. This means actively practicing principles and politics that keep Black trans folks, Black queer folks, Black women, Black children, and all Black people safe and affirmed. Your healing is not our responsibility. We will survive how we have to. Your freedom may not come faster than a bullet. Abolish your antiblack violence or else. Stop killing us or else.

What does 'cisgender' mean? Who are Black cisgender men? Cisgender means you identify with the gender you were designated at birth. Black cisgender men refers to Black men who are NOT transmen, NOT genderfluid folks, and NOT men who identify outside of the binary.


MISOGYNOIR THE VIOLENCE, HATRED, AND PREJUDICE TOWARDS BLACK WOMEN AND BLACK GENDER OPPRESSED PEOPLE. COLORISM FATPHOBIA WHOREPHOBIA

TRANSPHOBIA ABLEISM

HOMOPHOBIA

TOXIC MASCULINITY FEELING OWNERSHIP OVER OTHER PEOPLE'S BODIES, IDENTITIES, PERFORMANCE, AND LOOKS CAPITALISM

KILLING OR HARMING SOMEONE FOR NOT CONSENSUALLY ENGAGING YOU

MISOGYNOIR

THE EXPECTATION OF LABOR, ATTENTION, AND TIME

ANTIBLACKNESS SEXUAL ASSAULT

GENDER BINARIES SEXUAL HARASSMENT

SLUT SHAMING

COERCING PEOPLE INTO ENGAGING YOU

RAPE CULTURE

NONCONSENSUALLY TOUCHING SOMEONE

INVISIBILITY & HYPERVISIBILITY

CATCALLING VICTIM BLAMING

ANTIBLACKNESS AT THE ROOT IS MISOGYNOIR. THERE IS NO FREEDOM WITHOUT ABOLISHING THESE VIOLENT REALITIES.


INTERROGATE THE HARM YOU'VE SURVIVED INSTEAD OF USING YOUR TRAUMA AS A WEAPON. What you've survived is not your fault, AND it's also not the fault of those who did not commit that harm. When you leave the harm and abuse you've experienced unchecked and unprocessed, it can lead you to turning your trauma into a weapon against the world and those more vulnerable than you (and vulnerable to you). Actively working through your trauma healthily (with support) can lead you to making more affirming decisions and practices in your relationships. More than anything, it could stop you from killing someone for what you never healed.

DECOLONIZE YOURSELF. BECOME A FEMINIST IN POLITIC AND PRACTICE. Intentionally consume cultural art and writing for the sake of deepening your political self. Decolonization doesn't just include divesting from systems of oppression, it means divesting from the antiblackness that lives within you. Reading, watching, and studying cultural work that centers Black feminism, trans identities, queer sexualities, desirability politics, and revolutionary studies will help you have the tools to believe in world where you and those around you can be liberated and free. But you also have to be WILLING to change. Practice what you learn, and embody a world where our death isn't your diet.


ACTIVELY SEEK AND BUILD SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND HEALING FOR YOURSELF. Intentionally create authentic relationships with people so you have the space to be honest. If you have to perform around the people you're closest to, it deepens the possibility of shame and closeting your truths. Seek support systems in your friendships, family, and community to create balance in your world. Seek therapy and healing spaces (resources on last page) to process your feelings. Therapy is wellness maintenance, it's not just for situations of crisis. Processing your feelings regularly is necessary in order to actively create healthier relationships and engagements.

STOP KILLING US. We are not practice for your unhealed and unresolved feelings of inferiority, powerlessness, insecurity, and entitlement. We do not have to die for your desires, arousal, rage, confusion, need for control, or your unprocessed feelings around sexuality and gender. We are not your burial grounds to harbor your secrets, closeted fantasies, vulnerabilities, toxicity, or abuses. We are not your mammy, mule, or legacy. We are not your property. We do not owe you performance, beauty, smiles, labor, apologies, sex, attention, time, energy, kindness, or hesitation. We will shoot first. Stop killing us. Or else.


A Brief Introduction to Misogynoir and Black Masculinity: Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks "Explanation of Misogynoir" by Trudy | @GradientLair “Black Men, Don’t Make Trans Women Pay for Your Fragile Masculinity” by L'lerrét Jazelle Ailith The Will to Change by bell hooks "Healing Justice is How We Can Sustain Black Lives" by Prentiss Hemphill "Be a Better Lover" by Yolo Akili Robinson "On the Issue of Roles,” (From ‘The Black Woman; an Anthology’) by Toni Cade Bambara "Black Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir" by Trudy | @GradientLair "Black Gay Deaths Still Need Answers" by Myles E. Johnson We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity by bell hooks "Giving Birth to Language" by Hunter Shackelford "The Black Barbershop is Both Toxic and Intimate for Black Men" by Da’Shaun L. Harrison Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton "R. Kelly Targets Women No One Cares to Defend" by Brittany Packnett Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis 4:44 Syllabus by Anthony Boynton, Anthony J. Williams, Henry Washington Jr., Daniel Johnson A Black Man’s Guide to Rape Culture by Neal Carter

READ A MORE EXTENSIVE, EVER-GROWING RESOURCE LIST HERE: https://bit.ly/beforetheykillmefirst


THERAPY AND SUPPORT: BEAM’S BLACK VIRTUAL THERAPIST NETWORK THERAPY FOR BLACK MEN BLACK MEN HEAL NATIONAL QUEER AND TRANS THERAPISTS OF COLOR NETWORK BLACK HEALER DIRECTORY BY NYC POC HEALING CIRCLE HEALING WHILE BLACK ORGANIZATIONS & CAMPAIGNS: SURVIVED AND PUNISHED BEAM (BLACK EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH)  #MUTERKELLY BLACK MEN BUILD


Profile for hunterthelion

Before They Kill Me First (Hunter Shackelford)  

Before They Kill Me First is a zine calling out Black cisgender men who seek to kill Black trans folks, Black queer folks, Black women, Blac...

Before They Kill Me First (Hunter Shackelford)  

Before They Kill Me First is a zine calling out Black cisgender men who seek to kill Black trans folks, Black queer folks, Black women, Blac...

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