Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The State of The Black Trans Union 2014

So what's the state of the Black Trans Union?   A mixed bag that's not even close to where we need it to be, but is improving enough to give me hope that when I write this post in 2014 it will be better. 

--TransGriot  February 30, 2013  'The State Of The Black Trans Union 2013'

It's a year later and the state of the Black Trans Union circa 2014 is still a mixed bag but improving.

2013 was a breakout year for Black trans visibility.  Janet Mock and Laverne Cox led the way as they made appearances across the media spectrum on behalf of #girlslikeus and kept it real about being Black and trans.

Janet's Redefining Realness book was released to rave reviews today.  The book is paving the way toward having that long needed dialogue and conversation between Black cis and Black trans women.   Laverne has a historically groundbreaking role on Orange Is The New Black   Even B. Scott finally came out as trans. 

Kylar Broadus was deservingly tapped in September to head the Task Force's Transgender Civil Rights Project.  Tiq Milan is now at GLAAD, and Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler is taking his Trans* H4CK concept of combining a hackathon with trans social justice to solve real world problems national after its wildly successful debut in Oakland.   

The Black Trans Advocacy Conference is rapidly approaching in Dallas April 30-May 4 and promises to be bigger than it was last March. 

And yeah, a founding editor of a blog 'nobody reads' continues to chronicle the stories of our community and get a GLAAD Media Award nomination for it..

While #blacktransexcellence was breaking out all over the place, the sobering reality is still hitting us that we are facing crushing 26% unemployment rates because of the lack of NDO's that ban discrimination based on gender identity.  Yes, ENDA passed the Senate, but the Republican controlled House is preventing its passage and signature into law by President Obama.  If they won't act to pass this much needed law, then we need to act on November 4 to kick their azzes to the congressional curb and send legislators to Washington DC who will.   

Our transsisters from coast to coast are being viciously killed from Islan Nettles in New York to Domonique Newburn in Southern California and everywhere in between.  While CeCe McDonald is finally free, there are still other trans people who are facing the hell of unjust incarceration.
PhotoWhile our sisters are being killed, when they do catch the perpetrators they are increasing starting to see lengthy prison sentences.   The Islan Nettles case is unfortunately one of those in which the perpetrators of the anti-trans hate violence fatally visited upon Islan have not only yet to be arrested but prosecuted for the crime.     

We are starting to see Black trans women form alliances with our trans POC sisters in the Latina and Asian-Pacific Islander community to work toward the common goals of trans human rights coverage for all of us.   We are continuing the work to strengthen the bonds between Black transmen and Black transwomen and role model what Black solidarity looks like to the rest of the African-American community. 

I'm seeing more trans brothers stand up and take leadership roles in our community as well and begin to get recognition for it.   The Black cis community is starting to recognize that Black trans issues are Black community issues because things like voter suppression laws, sexism, racism, and discrimination affect us too.

We Black transpeople have a proud history that we are not only reclaiming, but people who are making history in the 21st century. 

But we still have much work to do. Like our SGL brothers and sisters, we are not happy about the lack of diversity in Gay, Inc organizations.  But we also need to point out that when we set up FUBU organizations such as the National Black Justice Coalition or Center For Black Equity, when you have job openings you're looking to fill, talented trans people need to be hired as well.  .  

So this is why I'm saying the state of the Black Trans Union circa 2014 is a mixed bag.   While there has been tremndous progress made in our trans human rights journey, we still have a long way yet to travel and much work ahead of us before we reach our goals.


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