Monday, February 04, 2008

African-American IFGE Trinity Winners

The International Foundation For Gender Education (IFGE) sponsors two awards that are chosen by the transgender community at large.

To be precise, a Selection Academy made of experienced and respected members and friends of the community make the final decisions, but nominations for the award can come from any transgender community member. These awards are usually given out at the IFGE convention which will take place this year on April in Tucson, AZ.

The two awards I'm talking about are the Virgina Prince Award For Lifetime Achievement and the Trinity Award.

The Virginia Prince's criteria are that the person be a living member of the transgender community, be a leader or pioneer who has been instrumental in the development of the community and has actively served the transgender community for a minimum of ten years.

I'm of the opinion that we need to expand that definition to allow for people who have passed away and who have done outstanding work to also be considered for both these awards as well.

As of yet we haven't had any African-Americans win the Virginia Prince award, but since some of our leading activists have just passed or are rapidly approaching the ten year requirement for service to the community, it will be interesting to see who becomes the first African-American transperson to receive this award and when it will happen.

The Trinity Award is our second highest honor. It acknowledges heroes and heroines of the transgender community, people who have preformed extraordinary acts of love and courage, and you don't have to be transgender to receive it.

In 2000 Dawn Wilson became the first African-American transwoman to win this award at the IFGE convention held in Washington DC. She was followed two years later by Marisa Richmond. She was given the award when the IFGE convention was held in her hometown of Nashville, TN.

And who was the winner in 2006? Oh, just some loquacious blogger from Houston who lives in Louisville.

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