Today would have been the 62nd birthday of trans writer and the person whose pumps I walk in Roberta Angela Dee. (October 31, 1950-March 13, 2003)
She was born in Brooklyn NY in 1950, lived in Augusta, GA and wrote about gender issues for 30 years. In addition to being a published author her writings were also widely available on the Net at websites like TGGuide.com that hosted her Roberta Angela Dee's Haven
She's the person who I picked up the trans writer's torch from in terms of being an advocate for our rights and telling our stories through the power of the written word.
She was also a no BS, cut to the chase type person who spoke her mind about many issues she was passionate about, and I loved that about her.
While we had more than a few chat conversations, sadly I never got to meet her in person before she passed away. But there is no doubt that I'm not only following in Roberta Angela Dee's footsteps, I'm done my part to expand what she started doing to a wider audience inside and outside the trans community with my own emphasis on unearthing those nuggets of Black trans history and discussing them here or at a conference or college campus near you.
I'm doing my part to live up to and exceed the legacy she left behind with her untimely 2003 death. I hope that as I run with the torch she handed off to me, I continue to make my community proud and keep exceeding the lofty standards I expect from myself and the community expects of me until the day comes that I have to pass that torch to my successor.
And I think about that every March 13.
Happy birthday Roberta. Miss you.