Still Aiming Higher
'As we own our power, that positive attitude and desire to aim higher as African descended transwomen is taking hold in our ranks. It demands that we not only represent ourselves to the best of our abilities, but step up to the challenge of being compliments to Black womanhood and not considered detriments to it.' TransGriot 'Aiming Higher' October 19, 2011.
Those sentiments I expressed in that October 2011 post are still getting rousing AMENs from many of my Black trans sisters who read those words and have thanked me for writing them. You have brought it to my attention that I'm not alone in wanting a transition path for girls like us that taps into Black womanhood at its finest and encourages us to be the best women we can be and how we achieve it.
Our cis sisters want that for us as well as we conceive in our collective minds what that transition path looks like when it's applied to our own lives. We also have to consider how that fits in with the new Black trans paradigm that's developing in this decade.
There are hard, solid thinking and ongoing conversations going on in our ranks concerning the subject of Black trans womanhood and where we fit in the overall scheme of things. While some of us get this point, some of our trans sisters have been slow to realize this and it needs to be stressed in Black trans world.
One of the things we must burn into our brains before we swallow those first estrogen pills or take our first shots is that Black womanhood comes with a legacy of struggle, history and pride we must do our utmost to live up to.
It's not about a silicone enhanced body, being estrogen based lifeforms, over the top hypersexualized people, legendary ballroom divas, elegant pageant queens or getting SRS, it's living our lives and interacting with the world as African-American women standing tall and having pride in that legacy.
I want our cis African-American sisters to know that as proud New Black Transwomen, we have our own ongoing history of struggle and a renewed interest in discovering, telling and sharing our own sense of who we are. We recognize that legacy of struggle that cis Black women have endured and are working hard to be worthy of Black womanhood.
And as a Black trans community leader, I'm doing my part to role model what I'm preaching for mine and the next generation of trans women.
Each girl like us, just like her cis counterparts, has the option of choosing what type of woman she wishes to project to the world. The problem is that many of us have only been exposed to the hypersexualized girls like us and not ones who have chosen a different path of projecting Black trans womanhood to the world.
We Black girls like us as we attempt to project the type of woman we wish to be to the world have to grapple with and conquer shame, guilt and fear issues. We have to overcome a predominately negative media image, a lack of visible positive Black trans roles models and four centuries of negativity aimed at cis African descended women that affects how our femininity is judged.
We also have to be cognizant of the fact Black girls like us have our choices in terms of the type of woman we wish to project to the world and they will get harshly scrutinized and judged by the worst that we produce, not the best among us.
That choice of the type of women we project to the world comes with the pressure of knowing it can possibly can affect for good or ill whether our marginalized trans community gets human rights coverage. It's why I stress and repeatedly say like a mantra that Black trans women need to be compliments to Black womanhood and not considered detriments to it.
Some of the reservations of cis Black women concerning trans women aren't predominately faith based or harboring on jealousy, but hinge on in their minds their fear we transwomen aren't taking Black womanhood seriously enough. I submit that the faster we African descended girls like us slay those concerns and we are considered compliments to Black womanhood, the sooner that the cis Black feminine community will embrace their trans sisters.
Then again there will be always be a cadre of cis Black women that no matter what we do or become those finer specimens of womanhood that Sharon Davis asked us to become back in the late 80's, they're still gonna hate for whatever reason, so bump them.
We Black girls like us need to aim higher not only for ourselves, but for the cis women who are and do consider us their sisters, friends and allies.
And by doing so, it will result in us being better Black women of trans experience better able to navigate all the communities we intersect and interact with.
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