In the African-American community we have a saying which states, 'get in where you fit in.'
But for the people who are proudly African-American and transgender, the question becomes 'where do I fit in?'
According to loud and sometimes racist segments of the gay and lesbian community, I don't belong to them or 'their' movement because I'm Black and transgender.
According to the radical feminists, I'm not only not a woman in their eyes, but according to Janice Raymond my existence should be eradicated. It's a sentiment also shared by the fundamentalist adherents of Islam and Christianity.
There are cisgender women who say I don't fit in with them because transwomen either lack a vagina, dismiss the fact that we do have a surgically constructed one, or narrowly define femininity and womanhood based on body parts, the ability to menstruate and procreate.
Even my fellow African-Americans, through their silence in terms of the genocidal suffering we're enduring that's documented on the Remembering Our Dead list, make us feel as if we aren't wanted by them either.
The haters in the gay and lesbian community can screech all they want, the bottom line is that your movement is one we jump started 40 years ago. I'll be damned if I disrespect all the hard work of Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and countless others and walk away from it. The facts are that some of our peeps are gay, lesbian and bisexual, and the 'T' in LGBT is not a red headed stepchild that you can ignore, use and abuse at your whim.
To you rad fems, the 70's are over. This is the 21st century and hatin' on transpeople is so retro. Besides, most of us don't care to swat mosquitoes at Mich Fest anyway.
To the fundie Muslims, Christians, Catholics, or whatever strain of fundamentalist religious dogma you hide your hatred of transpeople behind, read the New Testament of the Bible or the Koran again. Pay particular attention to the 'love thy neighbor as you love yourself' verse. It's also past time to blow up your bridge back to the 13th century.
For those of you trying to narrowly define womanhood, in your zeal to exclude transwomen on those grounds, did it not occur to you that there are cisgender women who don't menstruate, can't have children or have ambiguous genitalia?
Are you rushing to call them 'men' too?
And to my fellow African-Americans, I'm still saying it loud, I'm Black, I'm transgender and I'm proud. Deal with it.
So where do I fit in? Any damned place I want to.