Friday, May 29, 2015

Musing About The Trans People Of The African Diaspora

One of the things that has been an ongoing mission of this blog is to highlight what's happening for trans people of African descent across the Diaspora from the Americas to the Caribbean to the Mother Continent itself.

I have been fortunate in my time as a trans activist and blogger to be able to talk to other African descended trans people from Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, Panama, South Africa and Nigeria just for starters.

Oh yeah, happy belated birthday to my Brazilian sis Dora who I got to meet and room with during BTAC.   You get the hug when you get back to UT in the fall.

Talking to the trans peeps of the Diaspora has given me an insight as an American with African heritage into what's happening not only in those nations, but also just how interconnected we are here in the States with the rest of the African Diaspora. 

It has reinforced my pride in my African heritage and being trans, and reminds me on two levels that my brothers and sisters in my extended family extend across planet Earth.

And sadly, it has also confirmed for me just how much Blackness is hated not only in my own country, but across the planet.   It's been eye opening to see that some of the issues I and other North American based trans people deal with are sadly prevalent in other parts of the world.

There are also situations in which my trans brothers and sisters in different parts of the Diaspora have been fighting tooth and nail just to get basic human rights recognition, as Audrey Mbugua has been doing for herself and Kenyan trans people for years.  Others are in the situation of moving from their native lands that were hostile to trans people and blossoming in countries more accepting of it. 

Some are in different nations just to further their education or to begin the process of morphing their bodies to be the men and women they know they are.  I'm also inspired to fight as hard as I do for trans human rights here in the States by watching my trans brothers and trans sisters in far more hostile territory in Uganda fight for their basic human right to exist.

But no matter the situation, despite the language differences and different nations we grew up in, we are all connected across the oceans and continents because of our African heritage and our trans status. 

 I'm looking forward to and welcome more of those conversations from trans masculine and trans feminine people across the Diaspora so that I can intelligently talk about those experiences.

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