As someone who has gotten to do a lot of interesting things in my life, 2019 definitely was one that was chock full of milestones and amazing events.
Going into 2019, it was a personal double anniversary year. April 4 not only marked my 25th transiversary, it was also marked the 20th anniversary of activism on behalf of this community.
Because 2019 is an odd numbered year, it also meant I knew as soon as the ball dropped in Times Square I would be making a lot of trips to Austin for the Texas legislative session.
Seven of them in fact. I also made a few trips to the ATX after The Lege mercifully hit sine die on May 27.
This was also a year in which I made more trips inside of the state of Texas than I did outside of it.
I made several trips to Dallas besides the usual birthday week one for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference (BTAC) and three to San Antonio.
One of the Dallas trips was for Muhlaysia Booker’s funeral. Another was Dallas Pride which was held on the Texas State fair complex for the first time. Less than three weeks later was back for the BTAC Leadership Institute in Dallas, and another was for the March For Black Trans Lives.
The trips I made to San Antonio were a May 4 birthday trip to witness the end of Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe’s historic campaign for a San Antonio City Council seat that unfortunately fell short, and one in September to the Excellence in Journalism Conference.
That’s a nice segue into me talking about how much I was on TV this year.
Much of it has been local. I went on The Isiah Factor Uncensored multiple times on FOX 26, and had two interviews with Natasha Geiger. Multiple interviews on ABC13 with Chauncey Glover, Miya Shay, and Mycah Hatfield. Various newspaper and media interviews in which I got quoted in everything from CNN to OUT Magazine.
The icing on the cake was taping an eight hour conversation about trans issues for ABC News Nightline with Dee Dee and Diamond.
I even got to go to NYC World Pride, even if it was for 36 hours, thanks to Sara Ramirez. I was one of the movement leaders across the country along with my other H-Town peeps Ashton Woods and Ana Andrea Molina honored onstage as she sang ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ during the opening concert for it at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center
Speaking of Pride, which was marking its 50th anniversary this year, I got to serve as an honorary Grand Marshal during Houston’s Pride Parade this year.
Lot more fun riding in a jeep for the entire length of our nighttime parade and sitting in the VIP section afterwards instead of marching in it. Also got to attend a few events during the week in my role as a honorary grand marshal.
And this year, probably in large part to the heightened media visibility and the recognition that I have been doing this for 20 years, received some major awards.
The Harris County Democratic Party gave me the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers one at the JRR Luncheon in May in which I spoke just before Secretary (and should have been president) Hillary Clinton
I also received the Transgender Activist Award from Equality Texas at their Austin gala in November, and the Minnie Fisher Award from the Texas Democratic Women of Galveston County.
I was also named this year for the first time ever to Out Magazine’s OUT100.
It wouldn’t be a Moni year without me going to a few conferences. In addition to the BTAC and Excellence in Journalism ones I mentioned earlier in this post, I also attended the Netroots Nation one in Philadelphia for the fourth consecutive year, Gender Infinity and the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit which were both held at UH Clear Lake this year and the NLGJA Conference in New Orleans.
It’s also cool anytime I go to these events to reconnect with old friends, meet new ones and also talk to the next generation of leaders in our movement.
It was also nice to make progress toward living up to one of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions of getting better connected with the Houston cis Black women community and our local activist community
I got to attend a few events throughout the year that helped facilitate that goal, and looking froward to doing the same in the near future. And yes, got to spend some quality time with my high school classmates. Our 40th reunion is coming up in 10 months.
And always cool to spend some time with my trans fam, where it be in Dallas at BTAC, here in Houston, or wherever I’m doing an event around the country.
Some of those events happen on college campuses and corporate settings, where I’m doing my part to educate people about our Black trans lives and the challenges we face inside and outside the Black TBLGQ community.
So yes, 2019 was definitely an amazing year for me to close out a decade Hope that 2020 is even better