Another installment in my ongoing series of articles on transgender and non-transgender women who have qualities that I admire.
I have much love, respect and admiration for Donna Rose. But she probably didn't feel the love when our paths first crossed back at the 2004 Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta.
I was there to facilitate a Transsistahs-Transbrothers event we held during the 2004 SCC and Donna was conducting a seminar. It had just been recently announced that she was joining the HRC board and Monica Helms and Angela Brightfeather caught me after the TSTB event concluded. They asked me to tag along with them to check out the seminar she was conducting.
I remember one of the things I said to her that day was, "Donna, we are proud of you and the fact that one of our own is finally getting on that board. But what I and others who have been burned by HRC want to know is WHEN they screw us again, will you stand with them or with your people?"
Our paths crossed again at the 2006 IFGE Conference in Philadelphia, but that was the year I won my Trinity and after that speech I gave, I had half the convention either congratulating me or wanting to talk to me about various subjects. I also bounced away from the hotel not long after the awards luncheon concluded to hang out with my homegirls Dionne Stallworth and Jordana LeSesne to not only tour the city, but meet with local GLBT leaders in Philly. We didn't actually see each other again until Dawn, AC and I were checking out of the hotel on Sunday morning before we hit the road for the drive back to Louisville and I was engrossed in a conversation with Alison Laing.
Donna's answered the question I asked in 2004 and then some. She's been a sterling example of the ethically moral leadership that Dawn and I have talked about that our community needs. She's a Trinity Award winner like myself, blogger and eloquent spokesperson for our community. While she was on the HRC board she pushed transgender employment issues along with Jamison Green and tried to get them to see that adding transgender people to ENDA helped them as well to no avail. She even took time out of her busy schedule to compete in the 2006 Gay Games held in Chicago and win a gold medal in wrestling.
She's continuing to speak and be a postive role model for all of us and I'm looking forward to the New England Trans Pride March in Northampton, MA this June and having a chance to finally sit down with her, have a substinative chat and extend an invitation for her to hang out with us in the Bluegrass state.