Thursday, June 19, 2014

Happy Juneteenth Trans Texans!

We've stepped off the mental plantation of shame, fear and guilt and are taking those bold steps into being proud trans masculine and trans feminine Texans involved with and ensconced in the communities we intersect and interact with.  How that continues to evolve will be the source of constant communication. effort and sometimes 'The Texas Trans Revolution Will Not Be Televised' consultation, but I'm happy to see it's finally happening in my birth state.
--TransGriot  June 19, 2013  'It's Juneteenth, 2013 Edition'

Juneteenth is the Texas state holiday now celebrated in 42 states that commemorates the 1865 day that Union Major General Gordon Granger ascended a balcony at Ashton Villa in Galveston, TX and read General Order Number 3 that proclaimed that all slaves in Texas were free. 

Since 2012 I have been writing posts that framed Juneteenth in the context of what we Black trans Texans needed to do.  I called for a Trans Juneteenth in which we worked to emancipate ourselves from the mental plantations we have been inhabiting for far too long

I called for us in the two previous posts to do a better job of owning our power, stepping up our leadership game and working together with all the communities we inhabit and intersect with in bringing  about a new birth of freedom in Texas and the  various cities we inhabit inside the Lone Star State.

As you witnessed in the Houston HERO battle, I have no problem practicing what I've been preaching at y'all.  Nether do the African-American trans Texans represented on the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Trans 100.

One of the easy things you can do to own your power is to vote this November 4 and in EVERY subsequent election for the rest of your life.   You vote is your political and societal voice, and if you don't exercise it, shame on you.   Shame on you for not doing so and not exercising your precious right to vote on behalf of our community.     

I'm proud to report on Juneteenth 2014 that call to own our power was not only heard, but is being acted upon.  It was heard by Carter Brown and the brothers of Black Transmen, Inc. who organized the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas in 2012 that continues to grow and prosper 

The Dallas headquartered BTMI also continues to grow with three chapters here in Texas and five other states to help African descended trans men own their power and become the change they wish to see in the world.. 

It was heard by the Rev. Carmarion Anderson in Dallas. It was heard by Tye West, Diamond Stylz, and Dee Dee Watters here in Houston.   It was also heard by numerous Black trans Texans around our state who while they agree with the call to own our power, they don't feel comfortable enough yet to openly do so.  

It was heard by allies to our community like Espy Brown who organized the sister org to BTMI, Black Transwomen, Inc.   It was heard by allies like Augie Augustine, Perri McCary, Fran Watson, LaTrina Carter, Brandon Mack, Jon Humphries and A.J. Woods.   It was heard by Yesenia Chavez, Maria Gonzales, Kristin Capps, Arianna Lint, Lou Weaver, Januari Leo, Daniel Williams, Tarah Taylor Christina Gorczynski, Amelia Miller, Brenda Lunger, Ray Hill, Phyllis Frye, and a long list of people I'd need another post to name.     

Black trans Houstonians were integral parts of Team HERO that helped the much needed H-town human rights ordinance pass on May 28 and will be part of the team defending it.

Yes, trans rights are international human rights.  We are at a tipping point moment that sees us on the verge of making them a reality around the world. Even a red trending purple Texas can't resist the forward momentum of trans human rights forever.  If we want a Texas that protects our human rights as trans people, we will need to show up, show out and fight tooth and nail to make it a reality. 

No matter how much a bunch of kneegrow sellout ministers want to deny it, we are as Black trans masculine and trans feminine Texans part of the kente cloth fabric of our communities  

Black trans issues are Black community issues, and even three of the four African-American Houston city council members, our African-American Texas and national legislators, judges, and legacy orgs like the NAACP and Urban League get that point.

We Black trans folks didn't just pop up into existence in the early 21st century either.  Black trans Texan and Houstonian Wilmer 'Little Axe' Broadnax was a major gospel singer from the 40's to the 70's.   Black trans  Texans like myself have influenced everything from media to the pageant worlds to trans history itself.

And if given the opportunity, we will make substantive contributions to the Black community and Black history.

So on Juneteenth 2014, let us Black trans Texans resolve to honor our ancestors by doing our part to uplift the race and our community.

 Let's continue to plant those human rights trees in our beloved Lone Star State soil watered by the blood of our people who were sadly taken from us by anti-trans violence.   Let us continue to close ranks and own our power so that we are a stronger, more cohesive partner to all the group we intersect and interact with. 

And as we drink that strawberry soda, strawberry Kool-Aid, or whatever your preferred libation is, let's think about the work we still have to accomplish to make Texas and the Lone Star State cities and town we inhabit better for ourselves and future generations..

Happy Juneteenth, trans Texans! 

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