Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Funny...I Don't Feel Like An Icon

Monday afternoon I was on a Facebook chat with Christa Hilfers. During that chat she mentioned that she was inspired to get involved in fighting for GLBT civil rights when she saw and heard me speaking at the inaugural 2008 Trans Pride March and Rally.

I've heard similar positive comments from other activists and even international trans activists I admire.

Used to be once upon a time I was the person who was in awe of meeting the people I'd heard and read about doing the in the trenches work of battling for trans people's civil rights.

Now I'm the person who has people telling me they're in awe of and sometimes afraid to approach and say hello when they see me out and about in the world.

Folks, I'm only human and I'll gladly take a few moments out of my day to say hello to you. Remember that the next time you see me at some event I'm attending or taking part in.

But being real for a moment, I don't feel like an icon.

When I think about icons I'm visualizing Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Dr. Angela Davis, Julian Bond, the late Rep. Barbara Jordan, the late Sylvia Rivera, Sarah DePalma, Miss Major, the late Alexander John Goodrum, the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When did lil' old me cross over into that territory?

Well, at least I'm hearing it while I'm six feet above ground.

Sure, I have an IFGE Trinity Award on the mantel. I'm blessed with a widely read blog that 2000 people a day visit. I do guest posts on other blogs and I post at the Bilerico Project because people who read my commentary there and on TransGriot believe what I have to say on various issues is important.

I'm flattered that I even get quoted from time to time by other bloggers. People are even starting to borrow my words and quotes like Georgia state Rep. Karla Drennan did when she used my 'the GLBT community is a microcosm of society at large' saying during an interview. I see 'transpeeps' and 'conservafool' being increasingly used across the Net. I'm getting attention for being a speaker and lecturer.

But all I'm trying to do is make the world a better place than the way I found it, stamp out injustice when I come across it, educate people about trans issues while motivating trans people to be the agents for their own liberation.

And I'm doing all this while continuing to evolve into becoming the best person I can be.

I have my days where I believe I did a better job achieving that mission than others. I have my doubts sometimes about whether I've positively affected people, done the education well enough or left a positive individual impression as a chocolate flavored trans woman that will positively impact transpeople of all ethnicities.

Sometimes I ponder the question if I'm doing enough to step into the pumps of the positive Black women cis and trans, who preceded me on this feminine journey that I've been embarking on.

But I really don't feel like an icon.

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