Sunday, March 08, 2015

Moni's Washington Musings

One of the things I was thinking about on the 3.5 hour plane ride back to Houston was the overwhelming sense of deja vu that enveloped me in the days leading up to my Washington trip to handle my TPOCC board  business, while I was in my room, and during that facilitated board meeting..

In addition to the fact this TPOCC meeting happened on the same weekend as the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, the facilitated board meeting took place in a hotel across the Rhode Island Avenue street from the headquarters of HRC, an org that in the 90s was more of a trans human rights oppressor than an ally.

Fifteen years ago a 37 year old TransGriot was the political director of a neophyte multicultural trans rights organization called the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition.   A national transgender policy meeting facilitated by the Task Force was scheduled to happen January 27, 2000 amongst the major LGBT organizations at the time and it was going to be NTAC's debut at those policy tables

But that initial meeting was delayed due to a surprise snowstorm that started January 24 and dropped several inches of snow on Washington DC and a wide swath of the Midwest and northeast US.   I was at Intercontinental Airport along with Vanessa Edwards Foster trying to get to DC as two other NTAC board members drove from Louisville, KY and Columbus, OH in that snowstorm following a snowplow as they entered Maryland to actually make it to the front doors of The Task Force headquarters. 

Dawn and Sarah did get a meeting with then Task Force leaders for their efforts, and when we were able to convene the rescheduled policy meeting a few weeks later I was in the room  representing the interests of trans people of color at that table .  

I also got to call out the HRC rep for sabotaging our lobby days dating back to 1994 and let her know in no uncertain terms that the new trans human rights sheriffs were in town, and we were here to pass legislation and advocate for policies to fix the problems that ail trans world.

HRC could either join u in that effort or get the hell out of the way.

That memory was on my mind as I sat in the Hobby Airport gate lobby about to hop a flight to Washington as another snowstorm was bearing down on our nation's capital.   I thought about the fact that I was about to take part in a board meeting for another multicultural trans organization during a historic weekend for African-Americans.

I pondered the fact after safely arriving during a snowstorm at DCA, I was once again in a city I had visited so many other times before in my activist life helping to formulate policy and chart the course of another organization tasked to represent the human rights interests of trans people of color.

And I want this one to be around for the next generation of trans people of color to run when our founder and the rest of us at that policy table on Friday need to pass the leadership torch to the next generation.

TPOCC has a unique voice in these trans human rights matters that needs to be heard before formulating policy that affects all trans people, and in this fifth anniversary year you will increasingly hear that voice.. 

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