Black America, Give Black Transwomen The Same Unconditional Love Y’all Give Madea

“Blacks have no problem with cross dressing and transgenderism as a form
of entertainment.  It’s only after the lights go off and the camera
stops rolling that it becomes an issue if the dress and heels are still
on.” Jasmyne Cannick, February 24, 2006   Black America’s Infatuation With Butch Men Up In Heels

One of the things that has irritated me and other African descended transwomen is the glaring disconnect that we observe between the community showing much love and respect for Tyler Perry’s Mabel ‘Madea’ Simmons movie character.  We are your children, daughters, parents, sisters, aunts, cousins, co
workers, fellow churchgoers, classmates and friends while Madea is a movie
character played by a man wearing a dress. 

But Black transwomen who live their lives 24/7/365 (366 in a leap year) as themselves get dissed and are sometimes subjected to violent transphobic negativity.

I’ve talked about that disconnect in numerous posts here.  Jasmyne Cannick mentioned it a February 24, 2006 blogpost, and it inspired a poem that I wrote and posted on TransGriot a few months later that I entitled ‘Y’all Love Madea But You Hate On Me‘.

I left this February 26 comment on that post :

Amen Jasmyne!

As an African-American transwoman I get irritated with the Jurassic
attitudes that our people have concerning gender and sexuality.

Those attitudes are not just the exclusive province of straight peeps.
They are also prevalent among the gays and lesbians who are SUPPOSED to
be our allies.

Black America needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Transgender peeps
are 3% of the population and we have much to offer our people. They have
to open their minds and hearts and realize that we are also
African-Americans who are ready to do our part to uplift the race.

What I, Jasmyne Cannick and others observed back in 2006 is unfortunately still prevalent in elements of the African-American community today.  We have Black people who give far more unconditional love, respect and authenticity to a fictional character than they do the transwomen in their midst.  Those people unfortunately are also eager to express that hate and fear of transwomen in ways deleterious to us.

Bottom line, we are women in heart, mind and soul whose bodies caught up later to the reality of our lives.  Increasing medical evidence and ongoing research on gender identity is backing up what we transpeople already knew and dispelling the lies told about us by the Forces of Intolerance.

I’m also noting more African Americans who are willing to step up, educate themselves beyond a Trans 101 level about our lives and gender identity issues and be stand up allies and supporters of chocolate transpeople.

I’m especially heartened to see increased support in Black academic circles, amongst HBCU students and our legacy organizations begin to tackle those internal community conversations we need and must have to continue to educate our community about trans African-Americans. 

Those same conversations are happening inside the SGL community as well.  While the National Black Justice Coalition is role modeling that new paradigm when it comes to inclusion of Black transpeople in their activism, others like the NAACP and our HBCU’s still have a long way yet to travel, but have taken their first tentative steps forward in doing so.

Any progress in terms of African Americans becoming aware of the issues we face is welcomed as long as it results in community comprehension that we trans African-Americans deserve more unconditional love as flesh and blood human beings than a movie character. 


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