Monday, May 05, 2014

Back In H-town From BTAC 2014

Well, finally back in Houston after a memorable BTAC 2014 weekend for me.

I couldn't attend the entire conference because of the pressing HERO business here, but did make up for lost time after my arrival in Dallas Thursday night.

Friday afternoon an amazing Black sisterhood discussion co-facilitated by Espy Brown and myself happened in which the cis and trans women in the room talked about the issues and concerns that concern us.  

That discussion needed another hour but it brought major insights to how both sides see things and hopefully helped pave the way for friendships to form. It was also the beginning of giving our cis sisters the knowledge they need to be better advocates for us when they end up in situations in which they have to quickly and confidently check other transphobic women.   

Photo: Tonight honoring so much incredible work! #btac2014We also left that session in agreement that trans women are women and we both need to be doing a better job of working together.  It's a discussion we'll probably do again at a future BTAC event.

The community town hall immediately followed.  A tell it like it T-I-S is discussion moderated by Tiq Milan in which we discussed a wide range of issues impacting our community.

Several hours later at the Advocacy Awards Banquet, we got to enjoy a performance by KOKUMO and Dr. KRZ, Louis Mitchell and I were in the Skyline Ballroom to personally hand out the awards named for us   And did I mention all those handsome brothers, their lovely significant others and our allies in semiformal attire?

And who won the Monica Roberts Black Trans Advocacy Award for this year?    Tiq Milan. 

Photo: Honored to be awarded by Black Trans Advocacy and so so excited to get an award named after THE trans griot Monica Roberts . Thank you so much Black Transmen Resources
Houston represented this year (as usual).  Major shout out to Dee Dee Watters for winning a well deserved Newcomer of the Year Award and Tye West who was also honored during the Friday banquet.  

Always good to see my Dallas peeps Omar Narvaez, Rafael McDonnell, Katy Stewart, Nell Gaither and my homegirl Arianna Lint who did double duty with us and LULAC.

Saturday was Fun Day, and as we pulled out of the hotel on another clear and cloudless day enroute to Camp El Har Stevie Wonder's classic song Fun Day was playing in my head, and that exactly what it was.

Photo: So many wonderful folks came out for the Black Trans Advocacy conference!!A fun day to laugh, play games, and get away from the hotel for  few hours while building community before we moved into the screening of the movie Shirts and Skins, the TransManifest and the Black Diamond Ball

I did get to read two of my poems for TransManifest.   One of them was the fave poem of the BTAC fam and a request from Auset O'Neal entitled Y'all Love Madea But Hate on Me' and the other was 'Bathroom Trans Hate'.

And just as quickly as BTAC 2014 begun, it was over.  I hate I missed the early days of it, but the closing service on my birthday was a nice way to tie everything together and send us on our way back to our various parts of the country renewed, refreshed and ready to do the work necessary to continue the Black Trans Renaissance and build our community..

See y'all next year BTAC fam, and hopefully for the entire event.

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