Friday, January 09, 2009

Showing My Transsistahs Some Love

Hey ladies, I know it's really hard some days in the face of the avalanche of negative news, daily slights, slings and arrows we get from all quarters and losing more of our sisters to anti transgender violence all over the planet to feel positive about being a Black transwoman.

Well, I'm here to tell you, dry your tears, wipe your face, go to the full length mirror in your bedroom or bathroom, look at your reflection in it and give yourself a good hug.

If that makes you feel better, good. Sit down and read this if it didn't.

Ladies, we are descended from women who survived the Middle Passage, slavery and the horrors of Jim Crow. While the current assault on us ain't pretty, in the grand scheme of things this current attack on Black transwomen by our haters will soon pass as well.

Remember that we had some wonderful firsts this year in terms of Dr. Marisa Richmond representing us at the Democratic National Convention as the first African-American transgender delegate to a major national convention. 'Number Two' is also on the case as she and the TTPC continue to fight for justice for our fallen sisters in Memphis and elsewhere in Tennessee.

We not only had one of our transsistahs witnessing history, we helped make it as well. Our votes helped us elect a president who not only shares our ethnic heritage, he understands that we transgender Americans deserve to not have to live our lives in fear. Hopefully we'll see the passage of ENDA and hate crimes laws that will send the message that it's no longer open season on transgender people.

Isis King and Laverne Cox turned heads and made history making turns as they appeared on the reality TV shows America's Next Top Model and I Want To Work For Diddy. They not only showed the entire world how beautiful and intelligent we Black transwomen are, they struck some blows toward eradicating the ignorant fallacy that we can't be beautiful and intelligent women.

If they didn't get that memo from the wins we rack up at various transgender beauty pageants, somebody ain't paying attention.

Then again, maybe the haters are, and the 'Fear Of The Black Transwoman' is why we're facing some of this negativity.

I have to pop my own collar as part of this post. Damn right I'm doing it. If not me, then who?

I was advised that in the short history of the Weblog Awards, I'm the first transgender blogger to become a finalist in the Best LGBT Blog category. Not bad for a blog that just turned 3 years old on New Year's Day.

We have young transsistahs like Amanda Morgan and Cydne Kimbrough doing their part to make things a little better for all transwomen in the future while pursuing their own dreams of higher education. If you're in college, get that knowledge and get that paper.

Our enemies can never take that away from you, and don't ever stop acquiring knowledge either.

Tona Brown is a musically gifted and talented sister who is making her way in the classical music world, and is proud to be a transwoman of African descent while doing so.

Remember that we along with our Latina sisters used our creativity to take a Harlem Renaissance era tradition of drag balls and turn it into an event and a community that the world marvels at through two documentary films (Paris Is Burning and How Do I Look) and numerous print articles about it.

That's just a small example of the talent we have in the African-American transgender community that's waiting to be harnessed for the greater good of our society.

It's also interesting to note that some of our biosisters of color have realized that we are potentially their greatest allies as well. It's going to be interesting to see as the year develops how these conversations take shape.

But to my transsistahs, take a leap of faith and befriend one of those biosisters you've been dying to get to know. She may feel the same way about you and not all biowomen are 'The Enemy'. You may also gain a lifelong friend in the process.

To my younglings like Rochelle Evans, stay in school and dream those big dreams. You are the reason I and others fight so hard so that your adult lives will be a little easier than ours. You inspire us with your courage to live your lives openly and proudly at such young ages or like KK Logan, are currently fighting for justice.

To those of you who are struggling with those issue or are in less than ideal family situations, deal with your transgender issues when the time is right and after prayerful consideration.

I know we have major work ahead of us. We continue to lose our sisters at a alarming rate. We're pretty much alone when it comes to dealing with our myriad problems. Let's show ourselves some love and begin doing the work to confound our critics and build our community.

And to paraphrase Sister Maya, and still we rise.


Unknown said...

FYI, I noticed that the Lamda Legal story about KK Logan constantly refers to her using the male pronouns. I've put a call into LL's home office (212-809-8585) and left a message with their publications director, stating that using male pronouns is inappropriate for a young woman and that this puts the lives of trans women in danger by reinforcing the "men in dresses" stereotype. Hopefully she (the director) will get back to me. I'd suggest others do the same.

Monica Roberts said...

Thanks for the head's up.....

Dale said...

I think Lambda Legal used male pronouns because K.K. Logan identifies as male, and not female. At least that is what is claimed by articles appearing in The Advocate and the Court TV website.