Rev. Joshua Holiday is a native New Yorker who I had the enjoyable pleasure of meeting at the 2005 Transsistahs-Transbrothas Conference in Louisville. Joshua is a minister, passionate advocate and activist in the Atlanta area. You can find him at The Fellowship-The Shepherd's Table Covenant Church Hillside Chapel and Truth Center when he's not spending his time diligently working for the uplifting of our community.
His posts on faith issues pop up from time to time on my blog and he's an avid Yankees fan, but I still love him anyway.
Time for Rev Joshua Holiday to answer the TransGriot's Ten Questions.
1. If our African descended trans elders could come back, observe and critique us, would you think they'd be proud of us, be neutral about us, or putting their collective foot up our behinds?
JH- I think it would be neutral. I say that because as African Americans, PERIOD, I feel we have lost any connection with our African and Caribbean ancestors. I see so many African Americans look down on Africans and vice versa. The powers that be have been successful at creating a definite rift between us. I also think they would be proud because we have come a long way, at least here in America and we are standing up better then ever before.
2. Who are some of your trans leadership role models?
JH-As a New Yorker, I have to give props to Sylvia Rivera. She did so much and gave up so much as well. As you know, her and Miss Major, were two of the unacknowledged transpersons present at Stonewall.
3. What is the one thing you'd like to tell the peeps who oppose us who think that it is impossible to be trans and Christian?
JH-Get over it. God created me to be exactly who I am, to do all the things in life I have and will accomplish.
4. Who are some of the up and coming young African American transmen leaders you think will have a major impact on our community?
JH-Most are ones people don't even know yet. And even though some are stealth. In my counseling some of these young guys, I see a generation of transmen who are not going to except other people's limits and I am excited.
5. Are there perceptible difference in your mind between the activist community in New York and the other areas in which you have lived?
JH-Of course there are differences. New Yorkers are more open minded and Liberal minded. We accept that and understand people because there are so many different ethnic groups in the North. We are literally raised to be activist. To support people and who they are.
Being in what we call the Bible Belt, Southerners have this ridiculous view of what they believe God says in the Bible, which by the way, has been mostly mistranslated. Activism and living outside the box is not common place in the these areas. I do see change happening and happy about the whole thing...LOL
6. Do you believe we need more FUBU style projects such as the Transsistahs-Transbrothas conference, the Trans Health Conference event in Philadelphia or doing more to increase our presence in the overall trans community?
JH-Honestly, one side of me says there are enough conferences. The other side says those conferences don't respect Transgender people of color So, I guess we still need to make ourselves heard and respected. In the meantime, we need to MAKE these same people respect us for who we are and the work we do.
7. What's the one thing about Joshua nobody knows that you feel free to share with my readers?
JH-Many people think I'm a smartass. Ok well, I am. I don't think a lot of people know that I am disabled because I don't talk a lot about it and because it's not visible.
8. What projects are you working on that you'd like to talk about?
JH-I'm preparing to go back to school in the fall. I'm hopefully helping to get Atlanta on the overall Transgender map, so we aren't known for just one event. Breaking stereotypes and expectations.
9. What do you think the Yankees chances are in the upcoming 2011 baseball season?
JH-That is still up in the air, though Baseball Tonight on ESPN, has them as the #2 team.
10. Where do you see the African-American trans community ten years from now?
JH-I see us in a very good place and once again, I'm excited about the whole thing.