Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Congratulations Angela!

Monica Helms sent me the word a few days ago, but I need to take a moment to congratulate an old friend who was named Q-Notes Person of the Year.

I've served with Angela Brightfeather on the NTAC board, have walked the halls of Congress with her, hung out at various conventions with her, and she was one of the people in the room when I picked up my Trinity in 2006.

She also beat my behind soundly on the pool table in the Philly hotel's sports lounge during that same 2006 IFGE convention.

Nevertheless, she's a role model to myself and many of us. She serves as the vice president of TAVA, the Transgender American Veteran's Assn and is a tireless advocate for transgender veterans issues. She also excels at keeping HRC 'ejumacated' and fighting for the civil rights of transpeople in North Carolina and around the nation.

She keeps us focused on the bigger prize of equality for all, and it's nice to see one of the good peeps in the community win a well deserved honor.

Congratulations Angela!


Jim Sheedy said...

Dear Monica,

Thank you so much for your congrads hon and kind words. I'm making your blog a permanent link on my "puter" from now on.

We have known each other for years now and it has always been an honor and privelge to work with you and to just share the same air space with you. You are more than just one of the primo POC in the Trans Community to speak out, but more importantly the first to help educate non-POC's like myself, at least well enough so that we can carry the water for you in the places and corners of our community that need it so badly.

One thing that I wanted you to note about the Q-Notes Award of the Year and statements that I was quoted on in the article was the lack of Trans people on the Equality NC Board of directors.

Equality NC and many of the other state Equality groups who have formed an "Equality" coalition of states, are sorely in need of Transgender people on their Boards and to make needed input. This is an opportunity for us that we need to understand, since most of these groups, while being accepting, inclusive and committed to Trans issues in their states and nationally, may have up to 16+ Board Members, and only one Trans person on their Boards. I know this is true in NC and Virginia for instance.

I think that this provides us an opportunity and a cause, because many of these organizations are allied with HRC and pattern their activites after the HRC format.
I look at the Equality groups as our best opportunity to provide legislative leadership at the state level, that reinforces our need for inclusion at the national level.

In this fight for inclusion and education, we need to remember that like the great generals who win wars, the ultimate pincher tactic is essential for us to win. Our community must push from the bottom and the top and meet in the middle. While we picket at HRC dinners and press them to be inclusive, we also need to press the Equality groups in every state that they exist and seek to become the Trans voices in their board meetings that fulfill the reality of an inclusive GLBT movement at the state levels.

Transgender lives depend on the way we seize the horns of leadership and move beyond exclusion.

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks Angela...