Saturday, April 05, 2008

I Didn't Stop Being Black When I Transitioned


One of the things that irritates the frack out of me is when I run into folks that seem to have the misguided belief that I'm not only no longer Black, but don't have any right to claim my heritage since I transitioned over ten years ago.

The only thing that changed about me is the outer shell. It now matches the way I always felt, wanted to project to the world and who I am, a strong, proud woman who happens to be unabashedly African-American. The people who are still in my life that knew 'The Twin' back in the day way back when can tell you that they felt like I was on the wrong team as well. I had one of my longtime friends who remarked to me after I pulled the trigger and finally transitioned, "What took you so long?"

I'm sick and tired of you folks who don't even read the Bible on a regular basis or who are C&E Christians spouting Bible verses out of context or quoting Paul to justify your ignorant and devoid of scientific knowledge views.

Since you peeps are so adept at kicking out Bible verses to denigrate transgender peeps like me, here's one for you to chew on: Matthew 19;12

'For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.'


BTW, Eunuchs are considered by Biblical scholars what would be in our time as transgender people.

Jesus called us to love without limits our fellow human being. That includes transgender people as well, who are also created in God's image.

Jesus also calls us to show love for others as well as for ourselves. So if some of y'all have a problem showing unconditional love to transgender peeps, it can only be because you have limited love for yourselves or have some gender issues of your own you haven't resolved.

But that's another post for another time. Moni's going to school you right now on being Black and transgender. I still have chocolate brown skin covering my now curvaceous body, except it now smoother and softer. Just because I transitioned, it doesn't shield me from being whacked with all the daily slings and arrows that being Black in America presents you with. I still get called 'nigger'. As a matter of fact I've had that epithet thrown at me more so by people in the GLBT community since I transitioned than folks outside it. I also get the displeasure of having the b-word spat at me as well.

Let me also hip you to the fact that Black transgender peeps history is intertwined with the African-American community in what Dr. King called an inescapable network of mutuality. The African-American transgender community didn't just morph out of thin air, we've always been here and a part of it.

We were part of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's as the late Coretta Scott King pointed out, and the Dewey's Lunch Counter protest is evidence of. We helped start the GLBT rights movement at Stonewall in 1969. We have been doing our part to help uplift the race. We are your neighbors, doctors, teachers, lawyers, mothers and fathers raising kids, and someday may even be representing you at various governmental levels. One of my dear friends will be headed to Denver as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Some of my brothers and sisters are not as open about who they are because of the ignorance I'm calling some of you out on.

If anyone should know the pain of faith-based ignorance and the damage it causes, it should be us. Why some people would want to hurl that same level of ignorance at fellow African-Americans for superficial reasons is stupid and divisive to our unity as a people.

Just because I and my transgender brothers and sisters transitioned doesn't exclude us from claiming our history. I'm Black and proud of it, and I refuse to let anyone try to assert, whether it's from a pulpit or a street corner in the 'hood that I'm not Black because I transitioned.

6 comments:

Trinity said...

Monica,

I've heard that "eunuchs" quote interpreted as a reference to gay men, actually, not to trans people -- but it certainly sounds to me like it could easily apply to either or both (if people drew any meaningful distinction between the two in the society of the time, which they may not have anyway.)

Trinity said...

Monica,

That makes tons of sense. :)

I wasn't arguing, just noting that I'd only seen it interpreted as Jesus saying it's OK to be gay.

Monica Roberts said...

Trinity,
I believe Matthew 19:12 is more applicable to transgender and intersex people, but I can see your point where it could possibly be interpreted as a gay frienddly scripture as well

The part of the scripture where it states 'eunuchs so born form their mother's womb' can apply either to transpeople or intersex peeps, who are biorn with ambiguous genitalia.

A eunuch had their penis and testicles removed back in the day.
That is what happens during an SRS for a transperson, except that the penis is inverted to become the vaginal canal. ;)

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Greetings, my sista and comrade in the struggle,

I just stumbled upon your blog and I am happy to link you on my site!

I appreciate your openness and your truth!

Warmest thanks,
Minister Lisa Vazquez

Stellewriter said...

s a transitioned woman, I have had service in restaurants denied and asked to leave, Doctors not return calls or place me in the appointment log. I have had job interviews end with the interviewer laughing in the back room and making derogatory comments, in my process to a new life. It is what many Black folks take as common in their life and situation. As a Caucasian, the experience does not make me a Black person, but it sure has given me an appreciation and understanding to life's bigotry and hate.

Lisa Harney said...

It always amazes me when people frame transgender as a white phenomenon - define the women in Thailand as "not the same" and completely ignore the fairly sizable latin@ and black trans communities.

Like that "Punk" (probably Witchy Woo) person on my blog who told me that trans women have no connection to women of color or prostitutes.