Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When Is Someone Going To Tell Black Transwomen We're Prettty?

This picture and the caption beneath it triggered the musings of this post.

Black women for centuries have had their beauty, denied, denigrated, and disrespected because the societal beauty standard doesn't compute for us.

If we African descended transwomen thought we were going to escape that negativity directed at African descended womanhood by society, guess again.

One of the things I continue to notice is that when the beauty of transwomen is discussed, the conversation disproportionately involves white transwomen, with a few Asian and Latina transwomen thrown into the mix in order to appear more diverse.

But Black transwomen being considered pretty? Nope. We get the same shade thrown at us as our cis African descended sisters.

Ugly. Masculine-looking. You get the drift...

I chuckled when Kerry Washington talked about how she almost didn't get the role of Marybeth in the movie 'Life is Hot in Cracktown' playing a transwoman because the director initially considered her 'too beautiful' to play a convincing transwoman.

It's interesting that these 'unwoman' beauty myths persist despite the long list of African-American winners in the Miss Continental pageant system and other trans themed pageants and the first open transgender contestant on America's Next Top Model is a proud African-American.

But to ask the question that's in the title of this post: when is someone going to tell Black transwomen we're pretty?

Well, Kerry Washington did.

And the reality is a lot of these girls are gorgeous. That’s just the truth of it. Transwomen are women. There are many of them that you would never know… ever, ever, ever.

If no one else will do so, then we need to do it our damned selves.

My trans sisters, you are pretty, you are intelligent, and you are beautiful inside and out. It's just a matter of time before the rest of the world sees that.

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