Tuesday, May 02, 2017

BTAC 2017 Post Conference Thoughts

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Like many of my BTAC trans fam, I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep and get adjusted into being back in a world that can be hostile at times to trans people.  

I'm also trying to deal with the reality that I'll have to impatiently wait 365 days before another opportunity presents itself to spend an amazing and empowering week in Dallas with the peeps who I am blessed to have as part of my chosen family.

And I already miss them.   Oh well, that's what phones and Facebook are for.  We'll continue to connect by chatting with each other until it's time for us to meet in Dallas once again.

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And yeah, I have another birthday coming up in 48 hours.  

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and people dancingOur sixth annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference is now another one for the history books, and we already know the dates on which #BTAC2018 will happen (April 23-29).

Your job for those of you who wished you could be at this year's edition but couldn't is find a way to get there for the life changing experience that is our Afrocentric trans family reunion.

We had a lot of first time BTAC attendees this year.  We had a group come from Birmingham.  More peeps from NYC, the Carolinas, the ATL, Kansas City, Seattle.  The DC and Maryland peeps were in the BTAC house .  Some of our BTAC family like Dr. Kortney R. Ziegler returned, while others who couldn't make it were in our thoughts during our week long BTAC 2017 event.

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We'll also start in a few weeks the BTAC 2017 Regional events in which we bring a taste of BTAC to your city or state..  

This is the early schedule, and so far BTAC regionals will happen for Seattle (July 15-16), Kansas (July 28-29), Tennessee (August 5-6), Baltimore (August 19-20), Philadelphia (September 9) Houston (September 23) Atlanta (September 30)  California (October 14-15).

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The New York and Carolinas BTAC Regionals events are TBD at this time.   There's also the possibility that more many happen, so as I get information about them and the dates from BTA, I'll pass that along to you.

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So what would I like to see at BTAC 2018?   More representation from Houston and other cities in Texas for starters.  We had people come from Austin and Amarillo.  Houston and the DFW area were well represented since it's their hometown and home state event, but would love to see people from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, the Valley and other cities across the Lone Star State come.

I deeply appreciate the media peeps who came like David Taffet of the Dallas Voice, Dezjorn Gauthier of Black T Magazine , Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News, and Jessica Diaz Hurtado of KERA who covered our conference and interviewed people in attendance.

I also appreciate all the love that people showed me as a trans elder.   I loved the conversations I was proud and honored to be a part of with my trans siblings.   I enjoyed talking to the spouses.  I loved talking to and connecting with my first time attendee trans sisters and taking the first steps toward building that bond with them.

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It was also nice seeing and spending some quality time with Daye Pope and Jessica Herbst, spending some quality time with Sandy James and Rebecca Kling, Lou Weaver and other folks and sponsors at the gala.

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It was also cool to get to spend some quality time with Rachel Gonzales after I arrived in Dallas and wish I could have spent more time the local DFW area Mama and Papa Bears, but that will have to wait until the next time I'm in north Texas or they come to Houston.

I want to see and meet more trans parents and trans kids, and especially trans parents and trans kids of color.  I want to meet more spouses, siblings of trans people and have even more diversity in our BTAC ranks.   I want to continue to have those conversations with our millennial trans peeps because I learn just as much from them as hey tell me they do from me.

I also want to see more of my Houston trans brothers and more of my Houston trans siblings make the four hour drive up I-45 to meet their brothers, sisters and siblings from around the country and increasingly the world.
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If one of our trans family members from Jamaica can come for the second consecutive year, what's stopping you Houston trans masculine folks from coming to BTAC?  

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We set an attendance record this year with over 300 attendees.  We had the most trans women ever in attendance.  We want to break that attendance record we just set next year.  We want to continue having those thought provoking conversations during the Black Trans Community summit.  

We  want more contestants in the BTIPS Mr and Miss Black Trans International national pageants. We want to sell out the awards gala again next year.  We want you to experience the Black Diamond Ball, the Family Fun Day and the spiritual power of the opening and closing ceremonies.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing and indoorAnd we ultimately want more people from across the African trans diaspora and our allies to experience this event.

We at BTAC want to be having and aren't afraid to have those ongoing conversations in the hotel lobby, our rooms, in the hospitality suite, with hotel guests and employees and at nearby restaurants in the area. We want to be laughing, crying and loving on each other until the wee hours of the morning.

And just so you know, some of those conversations are The Black Trans Revolution Will Not Be Televised level ones.

And warning, I want to be administering more domino table butt kickings at next year's Family Fun day or if you can't wait that long, in the hospitality suite.  Since y'all are in my home state I'll be nice and won't make y'all sign the score sheet when it's over.

Most importantly, we at BTAC want more people inside and outside the trans community to experience the life changing event and family reunion that we call the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

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