BTAC Forever!

Image may contain: 14 people, including Sarah Swofford, Rebecca O'Brien, Jade Lenore, Daevion Williams and Jékksyn Orilyn Ícaro, people smiling, outdoor

I’m now back on my end of I-45 after spending the past empowering week in Dallas at the 7th annual National Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

And it seems like the fact of BTAC’s unapologetically Black trans self existing bothers some of you  white trans peeps.  Too bad. 

BTAC is a FUBU production in which everyone is welcome to attend, but you must bear in mind if you aren’t Black, when you step into our trans Wakanda it is one of the few conferences in Trans and GNC World that is grounded in unapologetic Blackness. 

I’m hearing some bull feces laden chatter from assorted bitter white trans peeps that BTAC is ‘racist’.

Um no boo boo kitty, let Moni school you are something.  Racism equals bigotry and prejudice plus systemic power and majority population numbers used by a majority group to retard, roll back or eviscerate the human rights progress of a minority group.

And don’t even step to me with that weak azz Webster’s Dictionary definition of racism or you will get your wig snacthed.

Back to talking about BTAC. 

Black trans and GNC peeps being at a conference in they meet others like them and unapologetically celebrates our heritage them isn’t ‘racist’.   You need to stop sniffing that vanillacentric privilege and talking out the side of your neck about an event you probably haven’t been to.

And for those of you who doubt what I’m saying, you can come see for yourself when we gather in Dallas again April 22-28 for BTAC 2019. 

Image may contain: 12 people, including Danae Collier, Kayla Gore, Monica Roberts, Chanel Haley, Dee Dee Watters and Tyree Williams, people smiling, people standing

BTAC wouldn’t have been a needed and necessary response to the ongoing marginalization of Black trans and gender non conforming people inside and outside the TBLGQ world if a long list of white led trans and SGL ‘equality’ organizations like GenderPac, NCTE, HRC, TENT, and Equality Texas had been doing their job of properly advocating for Black trans people.

More importantly, when they advocate for Black trans people, they hire us to do the advocacy work for and in our community Since you equality orgs are belatedly coming to the realization that Black trans people exist and aren’t going away, BTAC will.

Image may contain: 7 people, including KD Davis, Maddox Jackson, TreShaun Pate and Dezjorn Ray Gauthier, people smiling, people standing

This BTAC event was founded and built by Black trans men, who get even less credit for the yeoman’s work they have done to build our trans movement, and that crap needs to stop

For seven years BTAC has handled its business and been a healing place for the Black trans and GNC community. It also been a place where we network, learn and do so in an unapologetic Afrocentric environment that welcomes all who wish to come.

It is needed, life saving and necessary in a world hostile to Black trans and GNC bodies.  Even more galling to us, that anti-Black trans hostility also comes from white trans peeps as well

Image may contain: 10 people, including Dee Dee Watters, Renae M. Taylor and Monica Roberts, people smiling

BTAC is also a place where we can meet others who look like us, their supportive spouses and accomplices who unequivocally support Black trans people in Texas and beyond

It is also a place when we can sit down, interact with and listen to the wisdom of our trans elders. 

Image may contain: Jonathan Thunderword, Monica Roberts and Triptta Cohen, people smiling, people standing

For a week we get to live in a Black Trans Wakanda in which we talk about community issues and come up with solutions to those problems.  It is a place where we get to build friendships, are affirmed, loved on and in many cases get to heal from the micro and microaggressive crap that is hurled at us the rest of the year by an increasingly hostile to trans folks outside world until it is time for us to head to our various locales to live our lives.

This year BTAC 2018 had three seminar tracks for trans women, trans men and our anchors, AKA the spouses and allies.   We’re planning to add tracks for gender non conforming peeps since we had some show up this year in numbers and they expressed their desire for that t happen. 

We’re  planning to have tracks for our trans and GNC elders above age 55 that we call the Golden Flames because we value their wisdom, respect and love them, and realize they have much to teach us in terms of their lived experiences and our history.

We hope that one day as this BTAC conference continues to grow we will have enough parents of Black trans kids and Black trans kids in attendance so that we can programming for them as well   . 

 

Image may contain: Dezjorn Ray Gauthier and Jessica Zyrie, people smiling, people standing and indoor

At BTAC we get to hear our names called for awards named for distinguished leaders in our community and celebrated at a Friday gala, not a TDOR that was hosted by Dezjorn Gauthier and Jessica Zyrie . 

We show off our talents at Trans Manifest Live early in the conference week.   Our pageant peeps get to compete for the Mr. and MIss Black Trans International titles in which they know before even stepping on that stage that when they win that title, they will expected to be advocates during their reign for our community

And we cap it all off with the Family Day, Black Diamond Ball, and the closing interfaith ceremony led by our elders on Sunday.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Sybastian Smith, people smiling, people standing and indoor

BTAC is needed and necessary, and it needs to be supported.   It would be nice if we got to see our Black legacy civil rights orgs like the NAACP step up as sponsors for our conference or the gala. 

It would be wonderful for our BTAC attendees to see our Black trans superstars in the house someday.

But until then, this Dallas, Texas based conference will continue to chug along and serve our community.   If you wanna hate on that, that’s on you.

I and the rest of my BTAC fam here and increasingly around the world will smile, mark off our calendars to the last full week of April and return here to Black Trans Wakanda. 

BTAC Forever! 

Photo credits: Rebecca Jackson 

Scroll to Top