I was extremely happy and proud to see my trans sister Janet Mock make theGrio’s 100 History Maker’s list for 2012. I was just as happy for her as I was when Isis King made the Out 100 last year, Laverne Cox won her GLAAD award, Kylar Broadus got one at last year’s Creating Change conference and Dr. Marisa Richmond back in 2008 became the first African-American transperson to be elected as a delegate to a major party convention.
Dr. Richmond also received the doubleplusgood bonus of being in Denver when then Sen. Barack Obama made history of his own.
As we have made Black trans history, it’s becoming crystal clear to others we’re making Black history as well. It’s one in which I have the unshakable faith in myself and the Black trans community that we can, will and will excel when we are given the opportunity to do so.
I’ve done my part and will continue to do so in not only helping make the history but chronicling it on these electronic pages.
But the salient point I’m segueing toward is that trans African-Americans are finally getting recognized for the positive community building things we do and not being othered for a change. The point is being driven home that we African-American transpeople are doing our part to make Black America better.
At the same time we’re making Black America better, we’re shining a spotlight on a chocolate trans community that has long toiled in the shadows, been ignored, disrespected, and had near genocidal levels of violence aimed at us. But yet we rise, own our power, continue to build community and make history in the process.
I no longer want to have people outside the Black trans community and across the African Diaspora and the world attempt to define us by the worst we produce. I want the momentum of the outside world judging us by our best people continuing to move forward at an exponential rate.
I want to see the Black trans community continue to own its power as NBJC’s Sharon Lettman-Hicks likes to frequently remind us. I want to see more Black transpeople stepping up to leadership positions in their communities. I want to see Black transpeople making history by running for public office. I want to see Black trans judges, councilmembers, college professors, ministers and public officials and in professional positions and occupations. I hope and pray to see a Black trans congressmember, mayor or state legislator sworn into office.
I want to see more Black trans people in the entertainment world making movies and getting roles like Isis and Laverne are. Want to see more singers like Jaila Simms and trailblazers like Tona Brown and Diamond Stylz.
I want to see more transbrothers like Kylar owning their power and stepping up to lead because frankly my transbrothers, your transsisters and the African-American community need to see you doing so more often.
As much love as I get from the chocolate trans and SGL community for being the TransGriot, I do want to see more African-American trans writers and bloggers stepping up and adding your voices and perspectives to transition Black trans style.
I want to increasingly see us in leadership positions and as thought leaders inside and outside our community. I want to see Black transpeople so thoroughly integrated into the kente cloth fabric of African-American society it’s not an anxiety producing moment when we come out to our families at whatever age we do so.
So yes, I want to continue seeing African-American transpeople make history this year, for the rest of this decade and into the forseeable future.
Because it’s not just a dream I have, it’s one I share with other transpeople of African descent in this community. It also benefits all of us when a Black transperson blazes a trail for others to follow.