Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Welcome To The Black Trans Renaissance!

Kortney discussed it during his interview with Katrina Goodlett, and when he mentioned the words 'Black Trans Renaissance', it made me think about the post I wrote back in 2012 about the birth of the New Black Transwoman. 

I was thinking about the 1920-30's Harlem Renaissance when I wrote that post, and apparently so was Kortney when he started talking about the unprecedented visibility that Black transpeople have at this 2k10's moment as a Black Trans Renaissance.  

When I did the hard, solid thinking after the podcast interview was concluded, I had to admit my brilliant trans brother was correct in his assessment when you connect all the disparate dots into a larger picture.

We have the simultaneous rising of New Black Transmen and New Black Transwomen who are fearlessly owning their power and if they aren't getting seats at the power tables, have begun to make their own.

We have Black trans writers, academics, artists, musicians, athletes,  thinkers and activists getting major visibility.  We have possibility models, heroes and sheroes in place.  Black trans people are well represented as Trans 100 honorees for 2013 and 2014, and I can confidently say that our people will be well represented when the 2015 Trans 100 List is revealed next March.  

As New Black Transmen and New Black Transwomen, we are outspoken advocates of dignity for our people, refuse to accept the status quo that has crippled our community and are thinking critically about our images as African descended trans people here and across the African Diaspora.    

PhotoAs Kortney demonstrated with Trans* H4CK, we are coming up with creative solutions to many of our trans community's pressing problems.   We are forming our own organizations and holding national and regional conferences to discuss the problems that ail our communities and solve them.

We are reclaiming our history, pushing back against the use of Scripture to browbeat our community and pointing out to our cis allies that Black trans issues are Black community issues. 

In some cases the ideas and organizations we are coming up with in Black trans world like BTMI/BTWI, the Trans 100 and Trans* H4CK, are paradigm shifters for the entire trans community. 

Unlike the Harlem Renaissance,  the Black Trans Renaissance is not centered in New York, but stretches from coast to coast.   We have a blend of youth and seasoned elders who are leaders in this community.

We also benefit from the fact that our Black trans youth are the best educated transpeople we have ever had, and those who are matriculating in college now will exceed even what has been accomplished so far.  

For those who are foolishly fearful of the Black Trans Renaissance, may I remind you that a strong, powerful and confident Black trans community that owns its power and uses it to uplift themselves and the groups it chooses to ally itself with also benefits you in the short and long run.   

So welcome to the Black Trans Renaissance.   It is a chapter in the modern day history of the American trans community that bears watching.

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