Thursday, December 11, 2014
It's Imperative Black SGL Community, You Care About My Trans Rights Issues, Too
I attended at the Montrose Center a few weeks ago a Teach For America sponsored meeting on the State of LGBT Education. When it was over I was offered a ride to the MetroRail Wheeler Station during our post meeting conversation.
During that short ride to the station one of the Black SGL men in the car stated that he didn't understand being trans, didn't understand our issues and why they were germane to him as a Black gay man.
Unfortunately he said that part just as I arrived at Wheeler Station and saw my northbound train approaching,, otherwise he would have gotten this told to him that I'm writing for you peeps perusal right now.
The reason trans issues are germane to you as a Black gay man is for starters, because of our Black skin and shared history of oppression, the folks who revel in hating LGBT people hate ALL of us and don't take time to sort out which peeps they hate in the rainbow community less.
Another reason why you should care is that all oppressions are linked. Gender discrimination affects you as a gay man because you are not discriminated against solely because who you prefer as a sexual partner when your bedroom door is closed, it is because of the violation of the gender binary.
And frankly, you wouldn't have a movement if it weren't for Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and other trans and gender variant folk who raised hell at Stonewall in 1969. Black gender variant activist goes back to 1965 and the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In and Protest in Philly.
It's also imperative you care about my issues as a trans person because 20% African-American trans unemployment rates hurts the African-American community as a whole. Every trans woman who is killed is a loss of potential and talent that could benefit us.
And I need you as a Black SGL community to set an example to the rest of the African-American community by helping us stamp out the transphobia in your ranks.
Makes it harder for me and other Black trans advocates to insist that transphobia cease and desist in other communities when you are undercutting our message by in some cases gleefully engaging in it or spreading the same lies our right wing and TERF opponents do about us.
And we as trans peeps have been loyal allies when it comes to your issues. There are also other issues of mutual concern to us and the trans community like getting to zero HIV/AIDS cases, the uplift of the Black community, and ensuring what we have a voice at the Black community family table.
If you don't understand trans issues, ask a trans person. Many of us are willing to do the 'ejumacation' about who we are. Read our blogs and op-eds. Listen to our podcasts. Watch our YouTube V-blogs. Come to the conferences and forums in which we discuss our lives.
All you have to do is hit Google, Bing or any other search engine to get the basic medical facts about transition, SRS and how our bodies morph to conform with on the outside the persons we are on the inside. It ain't that hard to get up to speed on Trans 101 if you have a sincere desire to do so.
And having trans people in your circle of friends doesn't hurt either.
I and the trans community need you to do that because there are times when you are going to be in the room or other spaces I won't be in at that time with other fellow gays and lesbians (or cis straight people), some transphobic ignorance will start, and it will be up to you as an ally to shut that BS down.
So yes, Black SGL community, it's important that you care about my trans issues as a fellow Black person who is interested in the advancement of human rights for all.. If you claim you are for human rights, that includes your trans brothers and sisters, too.
We are already dealing with near genocidal levels of violence and enough anti-trans ignorance from the conservative movement, the Religious Right, sellout ministers and their flocks. We don't need our Black SGL allies adding to the microaggressive and macroaggressive crap we as Black trans people already deal with