Friday, February 28, 2014

Open Letter To The UHD Black Student Alliance

Photo: African American Perspective in the LGBTQ Community!

Great even put together by UHD SafeZone!As you TransGriot reader are aware of, I was part of a wonderful panel discussion yesterday with Augie Augustine, Dee Dee Watters and Ashton Woods entitled African American Perspective Within The LGBTQ Community.

It was a no holds barred discussion in which we touched on a lot of issues inside and outside the bi, SGL  and trans communities and was enjoyed by the people in attendance.   I thank LaTrina Carter and Safe Zone once again for the opportunity to be a part of it.

One group that was supposed to be a part of it was the UHD Black Student Alliance.  They had agreed to co-host the event with Safe Zone, but I discovered when I arrived on campus that they pulled out with as of this writing no explanation.     .  

That didn't sit well with me, and I decided to write this open letter to express why they should have followed through with their agreed commitment, especially in this case.


Dear UHD Black Student Alliance,

As one of the participants in yesterday's panel discussion that you were supposed to co-host with Safe Zone, it bothered me to hear when I arrived on campus that you pulled out of the event at the last moment.

And the salient question I have for you at this moment which compels me to write this open letter is why did y'all pull out of the event with Safe Zone today?

Was it fear of the unknown? You didn't want to be associated with 'those people'? Not willing to step out of your comfort zone and learn something about a group of fellow African-Americans that love being Black as much as you do and also happen to be LGBT? You don't want to walk the walk when it comes to unity in our community?

Or was it a case of unresolved phobias, hate and bias toward the SGL, trans and bi community?

You missed out on an opportunity to not only get your learn on about the Houston Black LGBT community, you also missed an opportunity to ask us questions, learn about how we navigate our lives, and also about the issues we deal with as we interact with the various communities we intersect with as African-American LGBT people. 

But the thing I'm most saddened and concerned about for my Safe Zone fam was that it was a lost opportunity to do some chocolate community building  and jump start an on campus dialogue between that is sorely needed.  

As the passage last week and subsequent veto of SB 1062 in Arizona emphatically proves, all oppressions are linked.   That bill aimed at the GLBT community would have also had deleterious discriminatory impact on you cis Black straight peeps as well.   

You would have also discovered had you shown up in Room N420 today that Black trans issues are Black community issues.   If the NAACP and other legacy organizations in our community understand that, why can't you?  

The voter suppression laws that the state of Texas passed knocked me out of the 2013 election cycle, but because you no-showed, you didn't get to hear me talk about that.  

You would have also been surprised to discover that I and my fellow panelists are just as concerned about other issues that impact the Black community besides TBLG ones.  

You also missed hearing about the other interesting aspects of my life and the lives of Augie, Ashton, Dee Dee, LaTrina and some of the people in the audience who spoke today.

You would  have also discovered that I'm unapologetically Black and a member of the BTLG community like 'errbody' else on that panel and our moderator was yesterday.  We also aware of what we need to do individually and collectively to uplift our people and also own our power in the LGBT community we are an important part of.

That's what you missed by not showing up, and it's your loss.  But you do owe your fellow Gator LaTrina Carter, who worked hard to put the panel together, an honest explanation along with the members of Safe Zone as to why you did so.

The bottom line is that not I nor anyone else on that panel forfeited our Black Cards when we acknowledged we're also members of the trans, bi and SGL communities. 

We were all looking forward to having that dialogue and building that sorely needed community on the UHD campus and within the 600 plus square miles of Texas soil that we call Houston.  We have more that unites us than divides us, including a shared community history and African ancestry and batturd delusional conservafool politicians that have a foaming at the mouth hatred of Blackness.

In closing, I'd like to say this.  If you claim to love Black people, then you must love ALL Black people, including trans, SGL and bi ones, without exception.

Respectfully yours,
Monica Roberts
The TransGriot

1 comment:

Antonio Maldonado said...

Monica, this is Antonio Maldonado from HCC-Southeast. I wish I had known about this event. I really enjoy hearing you speak and I'm sorry to here that U of H D. BSA acted like that. We have this same problem in the Mexican/Mexican American/Chicano/Latino/Hispanic Community.The Latino Community doesn't except GLBTQ people of their own ethnicity in our own community. As a member of the GLBTQ community and the Latino Community, I know 1st hand how it feels to be treated like a second class citizen by your own people.