trans elder Cheryl Courtney-Evans pointed out in the discussion thread that developed in the wake of Lotus' initial post::
I think that perhaps this concept may be simply explained by a sentence/attitude that accompanied the advance of the African American community in it's reach for parity with Whites..."You're a credit to your race." For many years that's what Blacks strove to be, in order to garner 'acceptance'.
one of the reasons we Black trans women are so adamant about being considered compliments to Black womanhood is because after being stuck on the Black masculinity side where we were considered suspects and targets regardless of the content of our character, some of us don't want to fight that psychic battle again.
But what you come to realize is that Black women also have their own psychic battle they fight in which their femininity is demonized every day by whiteness and white supremacy. They are depicted as the 'unwoman', 'ugly' and juxtaposed as the polar opposite to white women, who are held up as the penultimate form of feminine beauty and template of womanhood that women of non-white ethnic groups should aspire to be.
As Angel pointed out, some cis Black women don't care, do what they please, don't give a second thought about the historic and current images of Black women and never will.
So why should we Black trans women care? Because Black transwomen don't have the luxury to be that cavalier about the feminine images they project to the world. We're already demonized, have few positive trans feminine role models to counteract the negative images already on the minds of people and fear that whatever negativity happens in our trans ranks will be unfairly projected back at cis African-American women.
But then again, trans women are damned if we do and damned if we don't live up to the standards of Black womanhood. Even when we try to live our lives as complements to Black womanhood, we're demonized and hated on by many of those same cis Black women we desire sisterhood with and fell like that standarsd is a shifting goalpost. .
Cheryl basically dropped some more knowledge on us in this discussion with this sentence.
Well, I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Do you"...that's what you do; we must each do as we aspire...whatever that is.