Genny and I briefly touched on this in the comment thread on my 'Becoming a Quality Black Woman' post, but one major consideration for a Black transwoman is how well she measures up not only o other Black transwomen, but ultimately to the sophistication level of the biowomen around her.
Just as Black men have that certain cool swagger that they go through life with, Black women carry themselves with a sophistication and level of class that has multiple elements.
What are those elements? Moni's gonna break it down for you.
The first element for a sophisticated lady is pride. Pride in herself, pride in her history and pride in who she is and where she wants to go as a woman and as a person.
Another key ingredient in the sophisticated way that Black women go through life with is confidence. Some of my sisters walk around as if they are the finest thing walking on the planet, and let's face it, in some cases they are.
You'll see her standing tall, head up, shoulders straight, impeccably groomed, perfect makeup and outfit coordinated with nary a wrinkle or a run in her hose if she's wearing them.
If she's going to church, you'll see a slamming hat added to the ensemble for good measure. Don't let it be Easter or Woman's Day at the church, because the 'Hat Wars' will be fierce.
Another element making up the sophisticated lady is spirituality. She has an unshakable belief in a higher power, is tuned in to her spiritual side and takes 'me time' out of her day to recharge her spiritual batteries for a moment of quiet contemplation and reflection time.
The sophisticated lady also recognizes that beauty and a curvaceous body is fleeting. While she appreciates being blessed with it because Black women do have curves, she also knows that beauty is also internal as well and radiates out, not the other way around.
The sophisticated lady also takes time to develop her mind as well. Beautiful body means nothing if you can't coherently articulate your thoughts, do so using faulty or nonexistent logic, or the first thing out of your mouth about a complex issue is "I don't know". Let's be real for a minute, when a guy is looking for a woman to be the mother of his kids, intelligence is definitely high on his list.
But it ain't about the fellas, it's about us. Being intelligent is also important when one of the first things uttered by our many detractors is that we are less intelligent than they are. We know that's a fallacy, so let's enjoy blowing that one away at every opportunity.
Then there is the class factor. The sophisticated lady seems to combine all of these elements into one impressive package and can glide into a room making an entrance without being loud and brassy. She's the person whose feminine charms and demeanor can get someone's romantic attention without dressing like the next hoochier-than-thou centerfold in a men's magazine.
To me, it's all part of being the total package when it comes to projecting the type of woman you wish to be.
I and my transsisters not only want to be quality Black women, we wish to do so in a way that honors this heritage of class and sophistication that we observed from the outside looking in and marvelled at.
So many times as Black women our beauty, grace and intelligence was ignored or downgraded by the dominant society, and now we get the chance to show our flava in in all its glory in all segments of society.
And its going to be cool watching a sistah First Lady demonstrate for the world what being a sophisticated lady is all about.