How often do you hear something like this?
“I just love humans and I think that’s important that we’re good to each other and I like taking care of other human beings,” said Ebony Harper.
Look around Harper’s life and you’ll see evidence of how the rarity of that philosophy motivates her to be the light in what may be someone else’s dark circumstance.
And Harper’s ‘love on and take care of other humans’ mantra doesn’t come from a background as a nurse or a teacher, it comes from her work advocating for transgender women like herself.
It’s a population 1.6 times more likely to experience physical violence than the general public, according to Amnesty USA.
Before recently flying to Dallas for the funeral of murder victim Muhlaysia Booker, Harper held a memorial for her in Sacramento.
That memorial unfolded in the shadow of the mural she fought to have created for Cap City native Chyna Gibson, a trans woman killed in New Orleans in 2017.
“To bring attention to all the black-trans murders this year… and it’s the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.”
That’s what Harper hopes to do as she rides in Sacramento’s PRIDE parade Sunday as one of its three grand marshals – a job she intends to fulfill despite her own dismay with the hosts’ firm ‘no’ and then sudden ‘yes’ to have city officers march in uniform.
The uniform is triggering for many in the LGBTQ community because of mistreatment at the hands of police officers.
Harper herself experienced it just last year while protesting the police killing of an unarmed Stephon Clark.
“I’ve gotten beat up by the police… I’ve gotten tased.”
And then she was jailed, on the men’s side of the jail despite her gender identity.
Assigned gender male at birth, she says she had to run away from her L.A. home to come home to her real self as Ebony.
The fight to be welcomed and validated as whoever you choose to show up in the world as is one she’ll never abandon.
“I don’t really feel empowered,” Harper described, “until the person at the bottom is… is OK.”