Monday, March 17, 2014

If The Trans Rights Movement Wants To Win...

PhotoTrans people of color will and must be able to lead it. 

I've been complaining for years along with other trans people of color about the senior leadership ranks of the LGBT movement looking like a Republican Party convention.  We have the same problem in the Trans Division as well. 

One of the reasons I keep saying the obvious is because it hasn't sunk in yet (or maybe it has and you continue to ignore it) is that trans people of color have since birth been at the receiving end of discrimination and oppression.   We come from people who have historically had to fight, claw and scratch just to get what modicum of human rights they do possess in his nation and have to fight even harder just to keep those hard won human rights from being rolled back. 

So we trans people of color come from a history of human rights warriors who have a tried and true playbook for winning them that we would love to execute on behalf of the trans community.   

We would like to do that in concert with our white trans brothers and sisters and our allies, but sadly some of you are more concerned with getting your lost white privilege back (which won't happen)  than working in a diverse, intersectional movement that advocates for the human rights of all of us.  

Faye Wattleton once said, 'the only safe ship is a storm is leadership'.   Trans people of color have been hit with a Category Four level hurricane of anti-trans discrimination and violence.  Because the brunt of the anti-trans discrimination and violence is being directed at our communities, we can no longer wait for you to come to your damned senses and help create that movement because we need to have things happen to eradicate and eliminate that oppression aimed at us now, not 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

That's why the status quo situation is no longer acceptable to us as trans communities of color.  If you will not willingly share power and create that movement, then we will have no option except to own our power and do it our damned selves.  

People who don't understand oppression, have been insulated from it, deny race, white supremacy and class are a component of it or believe they don't need to educate themselves about that system arrayed against us  are ill prepared to lead a human rights movement that has the herculean task of liberating oppressed trans people.   Trans people of color intimately understand those intersections, because they are negatively affected by them and have been long before they took their first testosterone shot or swallowed their first hormone to begin their.body transitions.

So it's past time that the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of those civil rights warriors be integrated into the leadership ranks of not only professional TBLG orgs, but at the regional, state and local levels if the trans rights movement wants to win.

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