The Waterford Crystal ball has been dropped in Times Square to welcome in 2012. Many of you may have greeted it during a New Year’s Eve watch service, in a club with other revelers or you had a quiet evening at home engaged in some hard solid thinking about your life.
I’ve done that part already. Now it’s time to engage in some hard solid thinking about what needs to happen in 2012 for my chocolate trans people
We’ve already seen the stats from the NTDS survey and the confirmation about the deleterious effect that anti-trans discrimination has on us.. We’ve gotten pissed off about being excluded from last year’s NAACP GL(bt) town hall meeting. We’ve discussed being angry about being erased in the trans community senior leadership ranks that resemble a Republican party convention and being marginalized in the overall trans community.
We’re tired of having our young transsisters names being added to the Remembering Our Dead name lists we read at every TDOR. The 2012 list unfortunately has already gotten started with Dee Dee Pearson’s Christmas Eve death. We’ve had discussions about the shame and guilt issues that plague us, the faith-based ignorant transphobia in our midst and our pressing need to define ourselvesand build community.
So the question I put to you Black trans community on the first day of 2012 is what the hell are we gonna do about it? While you’re pondering that question, have a few more I’m going to ask as well to get your hard solid thinking for 2012 off to a good start.
What are you going to personally do to advance the human rights of our chocolate trans community?. What will you do to help build community? Are you willing to lead in the effort or sit on your ample behinds and bitch about the lack of progress? What will you do to help educate and enlighten our fellow cis African American people as to who we transpeople are and why supporting trans human rights secures their own?
Since this is a leap year, I have an extra day on the calendar to offier my thoughts on these electronic pages as to what I believe we need to do. But I’m painfully aware of the fact that we have a lot of work to do in tackling the problems that ail our community and we can’t do it alone.
We’ll need allies. While it’s wonderful that the National Black Justice Coalition is inclusively on our side, we will need to get our legacy organization like the Urban League, the NAACP and our legislators cognizant of the fact that Black transpeople exist.
We need to support TPOCC as it builds strength and capacity to take on the Herculean task of representing our interests.
We need to relentlessly drive home the point with them and politicians that Black trans community problems are Black community problems, and remind them we vote.
As Black people we are tied to the cis African descended community by history, legacy and blood and our African descended brothers and sisters across the African Diaspora. What affects them affects us as well.
While some of what ail us can and must be dealt with internally, other problems will require government intervention to fix such as enacting strong anti-trans discrimination laws so we can tackle the unemployment issues..
So that our transkids can get educations free from harassment we need anti-discrimination policies and anti-bullying ones that have gender identity and expression language at the school district, community college and collegiate level. That means HBCU’s need to step up and make the same kinds of policy changes on their campuses as their white collegiate counterparts have been engaged in for at least a decade.
And finally, the faith-based haters need to buy a vowel and get a clue that they are being played by white fundamentalists with this anti-trans bigotry. We are part of the diverse mosaic of human life, we are God’s children, and we are part of the African descended family. Hating us fuels the anti-trans violence that leads to our deaths, and that needs to cease and desist.
We’re not going anywhere. The sooner you deal with that reality, the sooner we transpeople can uplift ourselves and do our fair share to help uplift the Black community.
The challenges we face as Black transpeople can seem daunting at times but compared to where our people have come from and the challenges our ancestors faced, this is a minor speed bump.
I have the faith grounded in my people’s history to believe my Black trans family will rise to the occasion and do what is necessary to solve the problems that ail our community.
It’s just time to get busy doing so.