Monday, December 13, 2010

Young Black Transwomen-Oprah's Not An Option Either

I've talked about why you Black transwomen younglings shouldn't even think about trying to appear on the Jerry Springer Show if you have a desire to be a spokesperson for our community or doing something positive with your lives.

While being on the Oprah Winfrey Show has been considered as the Emmy winning platinum standard in terms of the types of shows we African descended trans people need face time on to improve our tattered images, don't waste your time or your efforts trying to get on Oprah either.

While Oprah has been putting transpeople on her show in just about every flavor and type of the trans rainbow since 2007, the one flavor of transperson she hasn't dished out to her viewers is the chocolate one.

Considering that Black transpeople continue to take the brunt of the anti-trans violence and face faith based ignorance and violence inside and outside our community, that lack of Black trans visibility on the show  is more galling in the face of this being Oprah's last season.

It's even more galling that the African descended trans community received another stinging rebuff just in time for the Christmas season.   It was announced that trans model Lea T has been booked to do an interview that will air on February 2011, but they mysteriously can't (or won't) book a transwoman on the show that shares her ethnic background.

It seems that Lea T is good enough to be on a show during Oprah's last season but we aren't.    

I've written two open letters to Oprah explaining why it's important to us to be included on any show she does on trans issues, but they have gone unanswered.
We still continue to see trans themed shows on Oprah happen without any African American trans participation in it.  .

I said this in the second open letter I wrote back on February 17, 2010.

An appearance on your show by an African descended transperson or transpersons would not only be deeply appreciated by us, it could go a long way towards breaking down those barriers of ignorance about trans issues on the African-American community and who we are to the world at large.

It would also give our friends, supportive family members and allies a positive thing about us to point to.
Whether that happens before September 8, 2011 is up to you, and I pray it does.

It would also give African descended transkids some positive reaffirmation as well. 

As the clock and the calendar page turn toward the date of Oprah's final broadcast, it looks as though that prayer will go unanswered and that humble request will go unheeded.

But it still won't stop us from continuing to try to make it happen.  

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