Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Building Sustained Texas Black Trans Representation Is Needed and Necessary
There are also those unexpected moments that happen that tug at your heart.
I have said and been cognizant of ever since I started taking these lobby day trips to Austin in 1999 that it wasn't about me, it was about the next generation of kids who were behind me and making it better for them.
It it happened that my work to pass laws and policies that expanded trans human rights benefitted me in the short term, that was all good as well
Every time I look at that picture, it not only makes me cry happy tears, but also puts a smile on my face. To them, I am a respected trans elder who not only is passing down their history to them, I'm also role modeling what it will be possibly like to be a fab Black trans women when they hit my age.
I get to see these amazing Black trans women in their teens, twenties and thirties, and it reminds me of why I have been fighting since 1998 for visible Black trans representation in our movement, in the media and other spaces.
Because it matters.
It matters that our Black community knows that #BlackTransPeopleExist, we are concerned Texans who are expressing ourselves to our legislators about the issues that matter to us, and we thought it was so important to do so we took a day out of our lives to make it happen
It matters for me to be hugged by Mia and Jessica, and having a two hour intergenerational conversation on the bus ride back to Houston about the issues we deal with as Black trans women and our hopes, fears, insecurities and aspirations for the future,
It also was heartening to know that these young women also shared my concerns about the media images of Black trans women and were determined to role model being quality Black women who just happen to be transgender.
It mattered to be called Aunt Monica by Zuri. While it brought on a momentary twinge of sadness with the thought crossing my mind that I don't have biological kids of my on and at this stage of my life, it's probably not gonna happen for me, the trans kids are basically my kids as well.
But Zuri's presence also reminded me that this Texas trans human rights fight is about ensuring that she has a Texas and a country she can grow up in that will allow her to become the amazing Black woman she is well on her way to becoming.
That's one of the goals we need to make happen, and it become even more important in light of the fact some of the members of the Texas House and Senate share our ethnic heritage and history as Black Texans.
It's either do so or don't get mad and whine 'Why are you separating from us?" when we form our own organizations to do the work you refuse to do or hire us for. That's why BTWI, BTMI and Black Trans Advocacy exist in the Lone Star State right now.
And our right wing opposition has no problem hiring Black sellouts to deploy and use against you
And speaking of that sustained Texas Black trans representation, much of the heavy lifting and elbow grease required to make it happen also is on us Black trans Texans. If you want orgs that rep you, you have to support them not only with your sweat equity but with your dollars so they can do the work you say you want and need to have happen.
Do I hope to see in my lifetime Black trans women standing in the Texas House or Senate as elected representatives, judges or accomplishing whatever their heart desires and their skills take them?.
Do I hope to one day see an end to cadres of Black ministers selling out our community and preaching anti-trans hate from their pulpits as white fundamentalists and conservative Republicans smile?
Do I hope to have my Black community say in one loud voice that Black Trans Lives matter and I see an end to the obscene levels of anti-trans violence aimed at us?
I sure do.
It's why building Texas Black trans representation is needed, necessary and needs to expeditiously happen.\