Councilman Boykins, LGBT People Of Color Exist

Because I had pressing business to take care of, I was reluctantly forced to miss yesterday’s Houston City Council public session in which HERO was the major topic of discussion.

And after hearing about how some of the public comment hearing transpired, wish I was in the room to counter some of the faux faith based conservamadness I was told about by people who attended it.

I was told by people who attended the meeting that District D Councilmember Dwight Boykins, the only African-American councilmember who voted against HERO last year, parted his lips to make the outrageously logic defying statement that :during all this Black Lives Matter situation , the LGBT community wasn’t there.’.

Oh really?  I have a news flash for you.  Black Lives Matter was founded by Black lesbian women Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.  LGBT people have been involved in Black Lives Matter from the beginning.  

And yeah, the LGBT community also includes LGBT people of color, and I’m not happy about this attempt to once again erase TBLG people of color from our respective ethnic groups and paint the LGBT community as monoracial..   

What the hell do you think my unapologetically Black trans behind and Dee`Dee`Watters are?  even when some of our people don’t love us, we’re standing up for the entire community to make Houston better.   And neither do I nor she appreciates our names being called by you in vain when your butt is getting chewed on for those idiotic remarks, your negative HERO vote last year and your problematic pattern of palling around with Black anti-LGBT sellout ministers

And may i remind you once again Councilmember Boykins, District D also has LGBT people, our allies, and our family members living in it who aren’t happy about your anti-HERO vote.

The statement that ‘LGBT people aren’t part of a movement we founded is as offensive as it is a bald faced lie.  Your comment is also being interpreted in Houston LGBT communities of color as saying ‘we don’t exist’. 

But let me pivot and focus on the erasure part of this.  There are 2.3 million people in the Houston area.  It’s estimated about 10-15% of the population are part of the BTLG community, and of those folks you’ll find moi and other TBLG Houstonians of color..

#WeExist, and are part of the Houston communities of color we intersect and interact with.   We are tired of being erased by you and other straight cisgender people of color.   Many of us in LGBT World have taken part in various movements that impact our community including #BlackLivesMatter .

And you do recall yours truly was at HISD headquarters in 2013 and 2014 blasting them for attempting to shut down my HS alma mater Jesse H Jones?

But one of the reasons the Houston LGBT community is rising up to defend HERO is because our backs are against the human rights wall.  We still as LGBT Houstonians and American citizens don’t have basic civil rights in Texas and federally, and now the Texas Republican Supreme Court has fracked with our local human rights ordinance that covers 15 categories, not just our community 

We’re also angry when we see the city of Dallas, 262 miles up I-45 and San Antonio in 2013 to the west of us on I-10 pass laws similar to our HERO with a lot less drama that we’re dealing with in Houston..   Dallas in November 2014 strengthened theirs.   These are cities that we compete with for convention business and sporting events like NCAA Final Fours and Super Bowls.

Are you aware that the trans woman who was discriminated against in 2012 by Saks, Leyth Jamal, was a Black trans girl like me?   That LGBT people of color are in various positions in our workforce?  And by you voting against HERO last year and hatin’ on it now, you send a message that you don’t respect our humanity, community or human rights?.

Many of us weren’t in attendance at yesterday’s hearing because we had to work during the 2 PM start time of this meeting, but thanks to the folks like Fran Watson, Melissa Vivanco, Ashton Woods, James Lee and the Organization Latina de Trans en Texas who were in the house and did speak in favor of keeping HERO.

Other TBLG people of color aren’t showing up for movements in the community at large because they aren’t out at work and don’t want to be seen or outed on television.  They fear that they will be fired from their jobs if their status as members of the TBLG community is revealed, and no thanks to the partisan Texas Supreme Court we no longer have a local remedy to combat that discrimination.

And it’s comments like yours that make LGBT people feel as if they aren’t wanted or needed in movements built around the common issues we face as people of color.

The LGBT that don’t show up also legitimately fear being victimized by anti-LGBT violence in their neighborhoods that your hate minister buddies have been stirring up for over a year with their anti-gay sermons.  

And after 11 trans women, 9 of them trans women of color have been murdered in the US this year including one Texas (so far) in that sad number, it’s a legitimate concern.

Yes, Councilman Boykins, hate thoughts + hate speech = hate violence.   And it’s even more odious when that debunked hate speech is coming from a pulpit with selective interpretations of scripture to try to justify it.  It’s also disgusting to witness when it is an attempt to bamboozle the flock into voting against a human rights ordinance that protects their human rights at the behest of white conservative activists like Dave Welch,  Steve Hotze, Steve Riggle and Rick Scarborough who don’t even live in the Houston city limits. .

When we went through those contentious HERO hearings last year, did you forget that many of the TBLG discrimination stories at those HERO hearings were being told by LGBT people of color?

So yeah, your comment just guaranteed that my ‘invisible’ behind will be making an appearance at City Hall next Tuesday, and I’ll be accompanied by more LGBT Houstonians of color who according to your statement, aren’t there.

I consider my human rights something important enough to show up and fight  for, and so will others who will be at City Hall debunking the lies of our opponents next Tuesday..

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