‘I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.’-Lucy Hicks Anderson
One of the things that we all struggle with at times as Black trans women is dealing with the dysphoria that whacks us from time to time.
Yes, we know that we are women, too, but whether you’re pre, post or non op, there are times the ‘that;s a man’ insults that seems to come at you from all directions stings harder on some days than others.
And yes, we trans women can be some of our own harshest critics when it comes to scrutinizing ourselves and how we stack up with our trans sisters
You come in 24 different skin tones from light bright and damned near white to deepest darkest ebony. Your fine brown frames come in all shapes and sizes.
It also doesn’t help that we cis and trans Black women are also dealing with a beauty standard that never had us in mind when whiteness and white supremacy decided to elevate white women as the penultimate example of beauty, femininity and fertility that all women should aspire to.
Deep breath, everyone.
I know it is a challenging time for us and the trans community. We’re under sustained attack by the Forces of Intolerance with a hostile Republican controlled federal government in place. We have Black cis women in our own ranks sounding like white cis feminine TERF’s. You have days when your mood goes up and down with your hormones, and you feel like you can either conquer the world or wish you could just crawl back under the covers and not deal with crap today.
But remember, you are Black trans women. You can accomplish anything you put your minds to.
You helped kick off a movement at Stonewall. You stood up to oppression repeatedly at Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966, Dewey’s Lunch Counter in Philadelphia in 1965, and Cooper’s Donuts in LA in 1959. Sometimes you did it alone, sometime in coalition with others.
You have Black trans women who blazed trails and defiantly fought for your right to exist from Mary Jones to Lucy Hicks Anderson to Marsha P. Johnson My generation picked up that leadership torch from and are now carrying it for you until it is time for y’all to accept it from us.
One of us got elected to a state legislature in 1990. One of us is about to be featured in Playboy as their first ever playmate. You are cutting edge thinkers, leaders, educators and trailblazers in this movement. You stylishly rock fashion runways and red carpet. You write New York Times best selling books like Janet. You slay pageants and balls. You grace our television screens like Amiyah and Laverne and you sing like angels all the way to Carnegie Hall like Tona Brown.
You have Black trans women who are not only running for office in Minneapolis, you are making trailblazing steps to shape the direction in which one of our major political parties will go as Marisa Richmond will do as a DNC member. You are handling your business when it comes to getting your education, and you are desired and wanted as a life partner in a long term relationship.
You are all that and ten bags of barbeque chips. And our Black trans feminine teens like Trinity will do even more amazing things as they grow to adulthood and I hope I’m around to see it.
And yes, I need to say it, since Black trans women don’t hear it enough. You are beautiful, my Black trans sisters. You are enough, to borrow your trans brother Kye Allums’ words.
You are valid. You are part of the diverse mosaic of human life. You undeniably exist no matter how many times our right wing and TERF opposition try and fail to denigrate our humanity.
You are fabulous and you are my sister, no matter where you live across the Diaspora. Whether you live in Brazil, the Caribbean, the USA, Europe, or on the African continent, we are connected through our DNA, history and being Black on a planet that universally reviles Blackness.
Never forget that. Never forget that you are beautiful, Black trans women.