After they'd asked what my other siblings were up to, she then asked what I the eldest was doing since it is not a secret (at least I tend to think so) I transitioned 20 years ago and took the difficult path of doing so in my hometown.
When mom made a non committal "I was doing fine' answer, the person made the mistake of saying what was really on her mind and making the comment that me transitioning was 'a waste of my potential' and it was' an embarrassment'.
Seriously? This comment came from a woman whose sons did jail time, and when they made the local news, it was a negative story. Compare and contrast that with yours truly.
My mom calmly told her, "We give our children life, but we can't live their lives." As Mom is already aware of, I will determine how to live my life to not only maximize its potential, but to make me happy. Caring about what haters think is not part of that game plan.
But I damned sure will use my electronic media platform to comment on it.
I'm more than a little tired of this ignorant thinking in the African-American community that presumes that if we don't stay in those mismatched at birth bodies, we African descended trans people don't contribute anything to the greater African-American community.
That's bull feces. So far you haven't given us the opportunity to prove that we transpeople of African descent can excel, or are ignoring our contributions when we do so.
And sometimes, you are our oppressors in league with others preventing that from happening.
As I have pointed out on more than a few occasions on this blog, we have African descended trans people who have advanced degrees, are working in various vocations and excelling when given the chance to do so.
I'm considered an authority on transgender history. I'm an award winning writer with a blog I started in 2006 that has 5.7 million hits and counting. I have done countless radio interviews, speak at various college and conventions on trans and other issues. I was asked on two separate occasions if I would run for public office. I have friendships with some amazing cis and trans people that span the globe that I probably would have never met if I hadn't transitioned.
And I still have living to do and chapters of my still evolving story to write.
Waste of my potential? It's because I transitioned, I'm living up to it. I gained the courage to step out there and live my life so I can be happy. You don't like that, tough. While you're tripping about my transition, I'll continue to live my life to the best of my ability and look fly while doing so.
It is from that happiness and balance in my life I can then focus on using the gifts and talents I have to make my life and all the communities I intersect and interact with better.