Tuesday, September 04, 2012
The Thing We All Have In Common Is We're Trans Women
In some cases the divisions we create are done by ourselves to our fellow transwomen.
People in one group will assume I don't want to have anything to do with people in the other groups because I'm an activist. That's not the case. I not only want to meet and talk to you, if you treat me with dignity and respect, I'll reciprocate and do the same thing for you.
It may surprise y'all to learn that I would like to meet Sidney Starr one day. One of the reasons is I saw a tweet my young transsister posted a few weeks ago about how she used to be ashamed of being a transwoman and now she's proud of being a girl like us.
That blew me away that a girl as beautiful as her would have the same shame and guilt issues all of us deal with at one time or another in our transition journeys. I'm interested in hearing her story and what it's like to walk in her pumps.
The genesis of this post was a conversation Tona Brown and I had about this subject yesterday in terms of the various cliques and the misunderstandings that crop up between us. I've been aware for some time of the different groups and cliques of African descended transwomen, and ever since I started this blog one of my goals has been to do my best to bridge that gap between those of us in the pageant, ballroom, activist, crossdresser, stealth, club and yes, escort worlds.
But if you peeps aren't willing to meet me halfway or are 'scurred' to talk to me and my activist friends, how can I accomplish that goal of bridging the gap? I and the activist community can't help you if we don't know what the issues unique to your group are.
I'm in contact with some folks, lurking on the FB and Twitter feeds of others and admire the hard work you're putting in to get to that legendary status on the ballroom and pageant runways Many of you are also carrying yourself with class and dignity while doing so.
One of the points I also need to make is that there is movement between the various categories under the trans umbrella. I've observed more than a few people in my time interacting with the various sections of the trans community that started in the drag, crossdresser, pageant or ballroom ends of it, had their gender epiphany and eventually ended up with round trip tickets to Bangkok getting gender realignment surgery.
I observed a few people use the pageant, drag and ballroom ends of it to not only do their gender transition, but use the prize money they earned to pay for it.
The escort life isn't (and never was an option) for me, but neither am I going to sit in judgment of those who are in it because I realize that even with college educations, 26% of us transpeeps are unemployed or underemployed. We are facing unacceptable levels of anti-trans violence aimed at us amongst other issues that affect all of us.
If we put our heads together we can begin to resolve those issues to the benefit of all of us. No matter what clique we belong to, we all want to be true to ourselves, live quality lives, be proud of who we are and be the best persons we can be.
I want us to laser beam focus on the fact that whatever our differences brought on by the cliques we hang out in due to class, education, generational issues, et cetera, the one thing that unites all of us at the end of the day and should squash all the bull feces amongst us is that we're all Black transwomen and we're hated on one level or another by some extremely misguided people primarily because we are trans.
Let's focus on the thing we all have in common, and work to build community from there. I've been willing to try if you are. There are others willing to follow my lead if you're willing in your various groups of the community to meet us halfway.