I just think that it is sad, to see a people who were fighting for their rights as second class citizens, just to get those rights, and now turn their noses up at their own brothers and sisters who are in the trans movement.
Monica Roberts, sometimes I wonder if we are fighting a lost cause? I never thought that I would ever envy a white T-Girl, but I do right now. I do, because they have more acceptance into their community, than we do ours.
Eboni T-Girl made this statement as part of a comment in my 'Speaking of Ignorance' post. It got me thinking about the subject she addressed in her comment of whether we should even bother trying to 'ejumacate' our African-American community about transgender issues even though that education is sorely needed.
Yes, we do need to continue trying to educate our people on these issues. One of the projects I was working on before I moved from Houston in 2001 was expanding the Transgender 101 educational efforts that we in TATS (Texas Association for Transsexual Support) were already doing at local universities and the Baylor College of Medicine to HBCU's Texas Southern and Prairie View.
Contrary to the spin that's out there, our people aren't the most transphobic ones when it comes to transgender issues. I've noted that outside of the Hi Impact Leadership Coalition, which is a subsidiary of white fundie Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition, the majority of those organizations fighting transgender inclusion and the ringleaders of those organizations tend to be non African-American in terms of their ethnic heritage.
But I agree our people need to step up to the plate and pay attention to science and logic on this issue moreso than loudmouth Christopimp preachers cooning for white fundamentalists brandishing faith-based bucks.
I know it's discouraging because we transsistahs love our people, honor our history, use it as a guide to chart our own destiny. We only want them to love us as much as we love them, not be disrespected, denigrated, and dismissed by people who share our ethnicity.
Yeah, it hurts, but the first people we African-American transwomen owe love to are ourselves. If our people won't or refuse to give us the love and respect we deserve as fellow African-Americans, then we need to do it for our damned selves.
Be as transsistah Sharon Davis put it, and I'm borrowing the title from her 1987 book, a finer specimen of womanhood. Be better than our biofemale detractors. Conduct ourselves with class and dignity. Stand up for ourselves when people attempt to disrespect us. Be stylish and classily dressed when we're out and about. Carry yourself like the descendant of African royalty you are.
It's time for us to organize, gather together the clusters of African-American transwomen around the country who are doing positive things in their various communities and talk to each other. We need to befriend and bond with each other. We also need to immediately band together locally while thinking and acting nationally and globally with our transsisters around the world.
If our African-American family won't embrace us, then we make our own.
We do have allies within the African-American community who see the big picture. Embrace them. If you are fortunate enough like I am to have biofemales as friends, treasure those friends. They can teach you much about the joys and pains of being Black and female in our society. They can help you make sense of those days when you're feeling unpretty. If you have biofemale relatives kicking knowledge to you as well, listen to the wisdom that's being told to you as well. It will help your own transition in the long run.
As a transwoman you are also a resource to our biosisters for helping them understand not only what we deal with as African-American transwomen, but for those of us who spent some time on the other side of the gender fence, we can help them decipher the mysteries of the male mind that their fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and brothers won't tell them.
For those biowomen who figure out that transwomen are not 'The Enemy', embrace and honor us by adding us to their sistahfriends circle, they will soon discover that it's a win-win proposition for both parties.
Education is never a lost cause. It may take us a while to get there since we're starting later in the game than our white transsisters, but get there in terms of educating our people we will.
The grass isn't greener in terms of acceptance for white transwomen either. They've got their own Astroturf situation in terms of their decades-long battle dealing with the Hateraid heaped on transwomen from white radical feminists. That's despite the advantage of massive media coverage ever since Christine Jorgenson stepped off the plane in New York from Denmark in 1953.
I'm betting that the caring, compassionate and justice loving side of African-Americans, the desire of some of our people to educate and inform ourselves on issues, the realization that we don't have the luxury as a people of ignoring and throwing away the abilities and talents of African-American transpeople, and realizing that it's the morally correct thing to do will eventually carry the day.
And it will happen sooner rather than later.