Monday, June 20, 2011

Tell Peeps You Love And Appreciate Them While They Are Still Here

In the last week and a half we've had two iconic African American trans activists pass away in the trans community in the persons of Dana Turner and now sadly Tracy Bumpus.

One of the things that is bugging me right now in addition to losing them is that I was planning to do TransGriot Ten Questions Interviews with both persons because of the history they represent that is now lost to us because they have left this plane of existence. 

In addition, both were cool people.   I knew Dana personally and was in the process of getting to know Tracy.

Time continues moving forward at warp speed and none of us are getting any younger, including the TransGriot who is staring at a milestone birthday next year.   Once upon a time I was one of those newbie trans activists leaning on my then trans elders for guidance, trying to soak up wisdom at every opportunity and learn the history of this community.  Now I'm the one in the position of being the griot as y'all sit around in the shade of my virtual pecan tree and soak up the wisdom I attempt to impart to you.

One of the reasons I'm not as upset about Dana and Tracy's passings is that fortunately I told both of them how much I love and respected them and the work they have done for this community and they have told me the same.  

We get a lot of flack and Hateraid hurled at us as activists from foes and friends, but not enough people telling us thank you for your service to this community.

Dana and Tracy's deaths have jolted me toward a renewed emphasis on the Ten Questions interviews and I definitely want to focus the next few on our iconic trans people such as Tracie Jada O'Brien, Miss Major and Lady Java just to name a few off the top of my head.

It's important not only for me and other transpeople of color to see and hear our history makers tell their stories, but to tell them how much we love and appreciate them while they are still here on Planet Earth.  .   

It does us no good to write a message saying how much we love and appreciate someone when they are no longer around to read them.   Tell them while you are still able to do so because it's a win-win proposition for both parties.  You get to express your love and appreciation to that person, and they get to hear you say it.

Once they are all made up and lying in a coffin or having their ashes scattered at some location of significance to them during their lives after a memorial service it's too late.

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