Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BTAC Needs Support, Too

We are rapidly closing on the April 29-May 4 dates for the third annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas, and I'm looking forward to seeing my trans peeps and our allies there at the Doubletree Campbell Center.    But I was bothered by this e-mail that was shared on the BTAC page.

Email response to invitation to BTA Awards.
"I don't know why I am receiving these e-mails. I am a transwoman, but I am white. I am sure that I wouldn't be welcome at you Gala in May." ________________________

You Are Sure of it?????My friends, racism exist. We are here to help end it! We get so much of this but on this one, we are sharing it so that we can grow from it together.

It is not racist to affirm black and trans identity. IT IS racist if you don't support it and exclude yourself from programming based on the affirmation of race. Please know that Affirming Black and Trans Identity, Black Trans Community Organizing, Black Trans Advocacy is a GREAT thing and takes us all to support for full equality to exist. Our goal is to obtain full equality and to become instruments of social change. If you support equality, make it a priority to get involved. It is counterproductive of our cause if you exclude yourself from our programming. All are invited, welcomed, needed and loved. One Earth. One People. One Love. #btac2014  
The point I'm going to make in this post is that the Black Trans Advocacy Conference needs support, too.  

Just as you would like for me and the rest of the non-white trans community to support events like Southern Comfort, First Event, and countless other regional conferences and panel discussions that you organize that don't reflect our culture or at times the issues of importance in our communities, we expect reciprocal treatment when we organize or host events such as BTAC that may not reflect yours. 

If we don't see your face in the Doubletree Campbell Center place because you incorrectly assumed as a white trans person you're not wanted at BTAC,  how else are you going to learn about the issues that affect my community, meet some of the people who are working to tackle and solve those problems, and have substantive conversations with the people who are our Black trans leaders? 

You're going to miss this year's keynote speeches from Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler and Cheryl Courtney Evans.  You'll miss the Black Diamond Ball in which awards to our community's heroes and sheroes will be handed out.  You'll miss the tell it like it T-I-S is commentary in our town halls and panel discussions.

And you'll miss a golden opportunity to network with not only people in our community, but our allies who do show up to support the BTAC and help us get our learn on.  

And you'll miss your chance to settle what is sure to be one of the big BTAC conference debates.  Which burger is better, In-N-Out or Whataburger

FYI, there's an In-N-Out burger location just up the North Central Expressway feeder from the hotel.    

I said in this post and will repeat and remix this salient point for your reading pleasure:  Having strong, confident, politically aware and vibrant Black, Latin@, Asian-Pacific trans communities telling our stories strengthens the entire pink, white and blue flag waving trans community as a whole.  It also strengthens our various non-white cis and SGL communities and any other one we choose to ally with. 

We trans people of color would rather work together to build community with our white trans brothers and sisters and our cis, bi  and SGL allies to advance our common goal of human rights for all.  But we are no longer doing so as disrespected, enfeebled junior partners   

It has become necessary for us in the second decade of the 21st century to have conferences like BTAC in order to discuss the issues that ail our community, learn, network, reconnect with each other, come up with solutions, and own our power so that we can permanently solve those problems.   

We're just doing the same thing the white trans community has done since the late 80's-early 90's.   The Black trans community didn't say you COULDN'T come, and neither did the BTAC organizers.   We want as many peeps at BTAC as possible because we are exceedingly proud of this now three year old conference, want it to grow and want to show it off to the world. 

The fact it's in a blue oasis in my red soon to be purple home state with a rich trans history makes it even more important it survive and thrive . So assuming you wouldn't be welcome at BTAC is not only asinine, but problematic.       

The bottom line is that stronger non-white trans communities benefit the ENTIRE pink, white and blue flag waving trans community.   The sooner you get that point, the sooner we can move trans human rights forward in our nation and around the world  

See you at the Doubletree Campbell Center next month.  

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