Sunday, May 12, 2013

NBJC-A Celebration Of Motherhood

TransGriot Note: From The National Black Justice Coalition

A true celebration of motherhood encompasses mothers from all walks of life. As we celebrate Mother's Day, we must remember the many mothers in the Black lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, because motherhood transcends categories such as sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity.

The history of motherhood in the Black LGBT community is replete with many women mothering against the odds. Disparities that mothers often face like equal pay for equal work, providing safe environments for themselves and their children, and finding good schools for their children are all exacerbated by issues like homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

"When I had my first son, I kept hearing that I was going to fail my son due to my sexual orientation," says NBJC Leadership Advisory Council Member Kamora Herrington. "I'm currently raising my second son, a 15-month old, and I can now say with confidence that Black lesbian moms raise amazing sons."

We salute our lesbian, bisexual and trans mothers. Women like Alice Walker, June Jordan, and Miss Major are all mothers who dared to raise their children in spite of the oppression they encountered. These women challenged stereotypical notions of what it means to be a provider and expanded the narrative around motherhood. In our community, motherhood is not just having children, but it is also a matter of providing a space for our youth to find safety, support and love.

"The Mother in the House Ball culture plays an integral part in the lives of LGBT people who often times have been disinherited from their biological families based solely on their gender identity or sexual orientation," says Icon Mother Ayana Christian of Royal House of Christian.  "I have had the privilege and honor of nurturing the spirit and souls of so many adolescents and young adults over the last 14 years. The most amazing thing about it for me is knowing that, despite the fact that I have not birthed them from my own womb, their lives have my distinct imprint of motherhood."
The National Black Justice Coalition believes that the celebration of motherhood should be more than a symbolic gesture. That is why we are committed to supporting legislation that strengthens Black families. We are proud to support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF), a bill that would empower Black LGBT parents to provide homes to the nation's hundreds of thousands of kids in our foster care and adoption system by denying federal funds to states that discriminate against adoptive and foster parents on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, even amidst these challenges, resilient Black LGBT people have continued to raise families and give love.

Mother's Day is not only a celebration, but a reminder of the hard work that our lesbian, bisexual and trans mothers undertake daily.

We salute all those who mother to make this world a better place for our community.

Happy Mother's Day

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