Received a link from one of my DFW area TransGriot readers to an interesting Dallas Observer article by Alicia Auping that discusses seven LGBT movers and shakers in the Dallas area.
When you peruse the list of seven people named, can you guess what the common thread is?
Yep, the people featured in it were all white gay males.
The list the Observer put together is not only devoid of ethnic diversity, it is also devoid of people from the trans, bi and lesbian community of Dallas as well.
Just on the trans end of it you have inaugural Trans 100 honoree and Black Transmen Incorporated (BTMI) founder Carter Brown living in the Dallas city limits. So does Dr. Oliver Blumer, the board Chair of the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and Rev. Carmarion Anderson, the South regional minister for the national group TransSaints of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.
Brown, Dr. Blumer and Rev. Anderson are three highly respected Dallas area trans residents making a difference not only locally but in the Lone Star State and on the national level.
There's Judge Tonya Parker, the first elected openly gay judge in Dallas County and the first openly gay African-American elected official in the state of Texas that you could have included on this list but didn't.
There's Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez who was just featured in an HBO documentary. Dallas based GetEqual activist CD Kirven. Lambda Legal community educator Omar Narvaez. Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox. Patti Fink, the president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and current co-host of the longest-running LGBT-exclusive radio program in America and Lividia Violette, who is a national board member of Bi Net.
They are just some of the Dallas area BTL people who are movers and shakers too and should have garnered recognition for their efforts to make Dallas, Texas and the nation a better place.
But instead, what the Observer did in this article is fall into that troubling pattern of ignoring or erasing the accomplishments of people in the TBLG community who are not white gay males.
If you claim that the LGBT community is a diverse one, it's vitally important that you showcase that diversity especially since not all the members of the rainbow community are white gay males.
That visibility is also vitally important in a red state like Texas. When GLBT people of color come out who are trailblazing leaders in the community, that needs to be highlighted.
It's also important to consider when you put together these LGBT lists that you have not only ethnic diversity, but also representation from the bi, trans and lesbian part of the community in addition to the gay male one.