We Need You, Black Trans Elders

When I wrote the post about my DC musings and my thoughts on the plane ride home entitled ‘Hard Solid Thinking About the State Of The Black Trans Community‘  little did I realize how much co signing I was going to get from people who read it across the chocolate rainbow community. .

But this comment from Sharyn Grayson really made my day.

Monica Roberts…if you could see me now…you’d know that I have stood
at my computer screen and given you a rousing (heartfelt) round of
applause! I think it should be repeated across the country, for the
outstanding leadership, innovative thought, and empowerment efforts you
have demonstrated on behalf of the global African American Transgender
community. Speaking on behalf of the “senior” community leaders who have
been in this battle, for years…let me just say that…”we are so very
tired, weary, and worn”. However, we can’t/will not give up the fight –
just yet! We need our young sisters and brothers to “step up” now and
allow us to hand-off these ‘battle batons’…while we provide critical
support and backup from within the ranks! All in all, I’m definitely on
board with you – 100%. Please feel free to call on/include me, as
needed. Thank you, so much, for all that you continue to do for us.

Thank you Sharyn and all the senior leaders who have fought and continue to fight a frustrating and sometimes lonely battle just to keep our chocolate trans people in the forefront of people’s imaginations inside and outside our community .

Thank you for keeping our history alive.  Thank you for providing the leadership and role modeling what Black transpeople can and should be doing in the 2K10’s.  And thank you Sharyn for reminding me on behalf of our trans elders that we have a proud legacy to uphold.     .  

I hope I’m speaking for my generation of transwomen when I say that we are determined to bring back for all Black transwomen the class, elegance, sassy  determination, style, sophistication and intelligence you ladies seemed to pull off and project almost effortlessly in far more contentious times than we experience today. 

I know our transmen are ready and just as determined to provide the innovative, quality leadership that is sorely needed for us to be a stronger part of the community

I want us to as NBJC ED/CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks said numerous times during the just concluded Out on the Hill event for the Black trans community to ‘Own Our Power’, and you and our trans elders will play a vital role in that effort.  

I want to be worthy of the legacy that you, Miss Major, Tracie Jada O’Brien, Avon Wilson, and countless others unfortunately no longer here with us built.  I’m determined to role model that in the 2K10’s and in whatever remaining time I have left here on this planet.  

For us to move forward as a community we not only need to know our past, we are desperately going to need you trans elders providing us with that critical backup and knowledge. 

I welcome it from you and any other trans elder who wishes to contact me, and know that when you African descended trans elders wish to say something or speak out about so issue that is bothering you, my blog is open to you and any African descended trans elder as a conduit for that message.

And transpeople across the African Diaspora, I would be honored to have you express yourselves on these electronic pages as well and you have an open invitation to do so.

My generation of  Black transpeople definitely want and need to hear it.  We need it so it will not only make us better leaders now, we can pass that hard won knowledge on to the trans younglings that will be our replacements when it’s time for us to step out of the trans civil rights game.

So yes trans elders, we want and need you to be an integral part of what we are doing to build a better Black trans community.

TransGriot Note: In case you’re wondering, photos are Sharyn Grayson, Tracy Africa Norman (who was a fashion model back in the day) and Miss Major

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