TransGriot Note: This guest post from Ashton Woods explains from his perspective as an ally to the trans community why other peeps in the SGL community should support their trans brothers and trans sisters.
Over the last fifteen years of being out and proud, I have had the privilege of meeting some great people who just so happened to be Transgender.
When I was fifteen and
still living in my beloved New Orleans, I would visit my life long
friend Dee whose mother is friends with my mother. He lived around the
corner from me and when I would visit him I would notice four people
sitting on a porch, sometimes five, two to three women and two men. I
had always spoken (its a NOLA thing) to them in passing and one day I
was drawn to go directly and speak to them out of attraction to this
beautiful man named Jeff. My attention was quickly stolen by a regal and
stately elderly woman named Mrs. Williams, who I came to think of as my
own family: “Boy come on up here and sit on this porch..” she belted
out in strong yet soft tone. It turns out that this group of people for a
short time in my teenage life would be part of my chosen family! Amber,
one of the women, out of the three happened to be Trans and I couldn’t
tell until she made mention of it.
THIS is where my advocacy for Trans persons of color originates from. I
mean there was this eighty year old woman, her sister who was in her
seventies, me a teenager, and two thirty something men just sitting on
the porch on Saturdays for a couple hours and talking about life! The
best part about us is that we were all Black! Like I said, they were my
family for a short time do in part to me becoming an SGL-BT/LGBT
homeless youth, which led me to just be around people like me, Black
SGL-BT/LGBT homeless youth.
On the first of many nights having to sleep
out in the streets, a man held a knife to me in order to force me into
having sex with him until I saw this tall statuesque woman come up from
behind to take the man down. She told him “Don’t mess with this
baby…” and she literally took the knife out of his hand and sent him
away bloody. Honestly, it was all a blur, but she saved my life and I
never knew her name, she saved my life.
She was in transition and she let it be known during a short
conversation over food that she bought me after convincing me to go and
eat at Clover Grill. Mind you, the frame of time between meeting Amber
and this stranger who came to my rescue was a matter of months from 1999
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