Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Kwanzaa Black Trans Style-Umoja

TransGriot Note:   On each night of the Kwanzaa celebration this year, I'm going to write about each one of those principles and explain how it applies to the chocolate trans community and our cis African descended brothers and sisters.  


Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

Haban gani?    What's the news?    

It's time to light the first candle on the Kinara and ponder the first principle of the seven celebrated during Kwanzaa.

Unity.  It has been an elusive concept for us in the African descended trans community, but one we still push for despite the odds.   Many of us are estranged or cut off from our blood familial relationships.   We have a community that rejects us for specious faith based religious reasons.   As a subset of a community that is attacked and reviled we have a hard time thinking of ourselves as part of the nation, much less are feeling the love amongst our chocolate flavored brothers and sisters.

But to borrow Maya Angelou's words, and still we rise.

We African descended transpeople have long ago realized due to events inside the white dominated trans community that it is past time for us to unify and build our own community based upon the cultural traditions that were carried over from the Mother Continent and that have sustained us through our time here in the Americas.

So our first task to realize as proud chocolate trans people is to point out that we have a shared cultural history with our cis African descended brothers and sisters.    The status quo of our fellow cis African Americans dissing, disrespecting and killing us is no longer acceptable behavior.

If we are going to build a strong unified African American community as called for in the Umoja principle, whether you like it or not, we chocolate transpeople are an integral part of that community.

You cannot call for and strive for national unity in the community and the race when you have elements of it sowing faith based seeds of discord, falsehoods and lies against the trans segment of that community who believes just as fervently in the unifying principles of a strong and unified race.

Chocolate trans community, we need to do a better job starting now of holding up our end of the bargain.   We need to strive not only for unity within the African-American community as a whole, but role model the behavior amongst ourselves.  

If our blood families reject us, find family in each other until your blood family comes to their senses.

By doing the work now to unify our community, maintaining it, and role modeling the behavior to the cis African American community, it will not only benefit the trans community for years to come, but our nation and our people as well.

As I have written before, we did not give up our Black cards when we transitioned, and you need to deal with the reality that some of your African-American brothers and sisters are trans..   

We also have talents and abilities that will lend themselves to helping accomplish the task at hand now and for generations to come, and live up to this principle.  

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