As much as I love watching MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry show every weekend, I am getting a little frustrated with their lack of diversity in one demographic of its show viewers.
The trans community.
When I tune in to MHP I can regularly see a diverse palette of people sitting behind the #nerdland desks chatting about the issues of the day. That diverse palette of people also includes members of the GL community who are well represented and not there to simply talk about SGL and trans community issues. But it seems as though the only time transpeople get a call to appear on MHP is to discuss trans or GLBT related issues, and only white trans people get the opportunity to do so
FYI Nerdland staff, Mara Keisling or Kate Bornstein are not the only trans persons inside the borders of the United States that can talk about trans issues. There are transpeople who are happen to be persons of color who are quite capable of discussing trans issues and other topics du jour as well. .
For starters, there's Kylar Broadus, the ED of the Trans Persons of Color Coalition.. Cecilia Chung of the Transgender Law Center. Andy Marra of GLSEN. Diego Sanchez worked on Capitol Hill for former Rep Barney Frank. Washington DCHuman Rights commissioner Earline Budd. Former Hawaii state board of education member Kim Coco Iwamoto.
There are our trans elders such as Gloria Allen in Chicago, Miss Major, Tracie Jada O'Brien, Sharyn Grayson, and Cheryl Courtney-Evans. There's Janet Mock whose has made appearances on Thomas Roberts' show. Tiq Milan, Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Kokumo Kinetic,Isis King, Leiomy Maldonado, Danielle King,Valerie Spencer, Laverne Cox,Antonia D'Orsay, Rev. Carmarion Anderson, Minster Louis Mitchell and oh yeah, some GLAAD media trained Houston based transwoman who has an award winning blog and been an activist since the late 90's.
And that's just the short list I'm sure there are more than a few others around the country who are more than capable of broadening the conversations on this GLAAD Media Award nominated show on a wide variety of issues.
For 60 years, the narrative about trans issues has overwhelmingly been all about white transpeople and drivedn by them and their worldview. It's past time that other trans stories get told. If we can't get Nerdland to invite us on to do that, who will?
We also need to see transpeople of color on these shows to blow up the myth in our community and elsewhere that successful trans persons or the only transpeople capable of speaking for this community and about other subjects of the day are white ones.
Melissa once made an eloquent speech on the show about the importance of diversity and how important it is that marginalized groups not be shut out of discussions and conversations.
That's exactly what is happening right now to trans people of color, and after watching Oprah ignore us when she finally started doing trans themed shows, it's frustrating as hell for us to watch this pattern repeat itself once again..
So when will trans persons of color be invited to participate in a Melissa Harris Perry show discussion? Will that happen sometime before this decade is over?