Open Letter To Tona Brown

Dear Tona,

In a few hours you will make one of your lifelong dreams come true and perform at Carnegie Hall, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.   I know you went through some drama and challenging moments just to make it happen, but happen it will. 

When you step onto the stage of the Weill Recital Hall later tonight at 7:30 PM EDT, to borrow and remix the words of astronaut Neill Armstrong, it’ll be one small but significant step for you, but one giant leap for transkind.

You’ll also be once again, just as you did when you sang for President Obama, be making history.   It’s history I wanted to be in New York to watch unfold, but unfortunately things didn’t work out for me this time. 

Photo: This is the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, where our concert, with headliner Tona Brown, hostess Tammy Peay, and me, will happen on June 25.  It is beautiful almost beyond words.But back to focusing this letter on you.  You have worked long and hard to make this day a reality, and I  hope and pray it turns out better than the way you dreamed it would play out.  I have no doubts your ‘From Stonewall to Carnegie Hall’ show featuring the works of
African-American composers
will be an amazing evening worthy of that hallowed stage.

You are not only a wonderful role model and advocate for our community, you are one talented musician.  The world will discover that in a few hours.  You are also a living embodiment of the power of dreams and how they can be a motivating factor for positive change personally and professionally. 

You are sending a message through your historic concert to our own African-American community that if given the opportunity and the chance to do so, we trans African-Americans can accomplish some amazing things.  You are also through this concert sending a message to the trans community for us to never give up on our own personal dreams, whatever they are. 

Now that you have made this Carnegie Hall performance dream of yours come true, you take that final bow and the bravas are reverberating around that venue as you exit the stage, can’t wait to see what you accomplish next.   

I’m certain it will be even more amazing than this night will be.

Sincerely yours,


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