Saturday, July 18, 2015
I'm Happy With The Person I See In The Mirror...
A few days ago I received a congratulatory phone call from a friend who had read the press release from Fantasia Fair about moi being named this year's winner of the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award. I'm the first African American trans person to receive it, even though in my mind there were some folks like Miss Major and a few others in our chocolate trans ranks who could have and probably should have gotten that distinction before me.
But I'm the one they chose, and I'll be heading up there in October to collect it.
Seriously? Obviously the guy who whistled at me when I walked by him last week has a dissenting opinion.
I started my physical body morphing 21 years ago in the middle of IAH's Terminal C. It has taken me a while to get comfortable with my statuesque body, and like every woman cis or trans, I still have my issues I have to work through. What I have is what I was blessed with through the magic of hormones, and I did my body morphing without using silicone or plastic surgery.
Ever since that April 4, 1994 day I nervously clocked in at worked and headed to my gates to be gawked at by all the peeps who were either traveling on my flights or were fellow employees taking me up on my offer to have one on one conversations about why I was transitioning, I've done so pretty much in the public eye. I also did so at a time when there were few out Black trans people or out Black trans activists.
So for you peeps who want to throw shade, let me ask you a few questions? Where the hell were y'all last year when we needed peeps to talk to Houston City Council about passing HERO?
Where were you during the last legislative session when it was time to stand up, go to Austin and fight to keep four anti-trans bills from becoming law?
Where were you in 2011 when we needed people to tell their stories at HISD headquarters when they were contemplating and eventually passed trans inclusive policies in the employment and anti-bullying areas?
And where were y'all when your Black trans brothers and trans sisters from around the world were having an amazing weekend building community as we gathered in Dallas for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference?
I know where I was. I was also there to chew on the HISD school board's behinds when our Black neighborhood schools were under attack. I was at City Hall to speak at a Trayvon Martin rally. I was making my fifth trip to the White House in March for a Black trans policy briefing.
I sit on the boards of two trans oriented organizations, and receive regular invitations to speak to college campuses, organizations and conferences across the country about trans issues. I have also gotten to meet some amazing people inside and outside the community along the way.
I was also blessed with writing skills to pay my bills. I get to write about life as a Black trans person on a 9.5 year old award winning blog, have 6 million readers eagerly surf to it to read what I have to say, 7600 followers (and counting) on Twitter, and almost 2500 people on my Facebook page..
So hate on, haters. Nice to know that you are spending a part of your day thinking about me enough to the point where you are talking about me behind my back
But while you are busy throwing shade at me. you're not doing much else to help advance the human rights of the trans community or working to increase education and acceptance of our lives in the Black community.
I am, and have been doing so since 1998. My human rights colleagues around the planet, the people that I have helped, and the people who are my friends DO appreciate what I have done on their behalf, and tell me so on a regular basis.
It also tells me I'm doing my human rights work correctly if I have haters, and I'll be sure to continue doing what I need to do to advance the human rights of our community while y'all suck your teeth and roll your eyes.