Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Why We Must Support Our Trans Brothers & Sisters

TransGriot Note: This guest post from Ashton Woods explains from his perspective as an ally to the trans community why other peeps in the SGL community should support their trans brothers and trans sisters.

the last fifteen years of being out and proud, I have had the privilege of meeting some great people who just so happened to be Transgender.

When I was fifteen and still living in my beloved New Orleans, I would visit my life long friend Dee whose mother is friends with my mother. He lived around the corner from me and when I would visit him I would notice four people sitting on a porch, sometimes five, two to three women and two men. I had always spoken (its a NOLA thing) to them in passing and one day I was drawn to go directly and speak to them out of attraction to this beautiful man named Jeff. My attention was quickly stolen by a regal and stately elderly woman named Mrs. Williams, who I came to think of as my own family: "Boy come on up here and sit on this porch.." she belted out in strong yet soft tone. It turns out that this group of people for a short time in my teenage life would be part of my chosen family! Amber, one of the women, out of the three happened to be Trans and I couldn't tell until she made mention of it.

THIS is where my advocacy for Trans persons of color originates from. I mean there was this eighty year old woman, her sister who was in her seventies, me a teenager, and two thirty something men just sitting on the porch on Saturdays for a couple hours and talking about life! The best part about us is that we were all Black! Like I said, they were my family for a short time do in part to me becoming an SGL-BT/LGBT homeless youth, which led me to just be around people like me, Black SGL-BT/LGBT homeless youth.

On the first of many nights having to sleep out in the streets, a man held a knife to me in order to force me into having sex with him until I saw this tall statuesque woman come up from behind to take the man down. She told him "Don't mess with this baby..." and she literally took the knife out of his hand and sent him away bloody. Honestly, it was all a blur, but she saved my life and I never knew her name, she saved my life. She was in transition and she let it be known during a short conversation over food that she bought me after convincing me to go and eat at Clover Grill. Mind you, the frame of time between meeting Amber and this stranger who came to my rescue was a matter of months from 1999 to 2000.

You can read the rest by following the link.

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