Are Black Transwomen Fighting A Lost Cause?

August 14, 2008

Monica Roberts at TransGriot asks the question Are Black Transwomen Fighting A Lost Cause? She was prompted to write the piece after reading the following quote, made by Eboni T-Girl as part of a comment in Monica’s Speaking of Ignorance post.

I just think that it is sad, to see a people who were fighting for their rights as second class citizens, just to get those rights, and now turn their noses up at their own brothers and sisters who are in the trans movement.

Monica Roberts, sometimes I wonder if we are fighting a lost cause? I never thought that I would ever envy a white T-Girl, but I do right now. I do, because they have more acceptance into their community, than we do ours.

As Monica says in her post, “It’s time for us to organize, gather together the clusters of African-American transwomen around the country who are doing positive things in their various communities and talk to each other. We need to befriend and bond with each other. We also need to immediately band together locally while thinking and acting nationally and globally with our transsisters around the world“.

I agree absolutely: we all – trans women everywhere – need to seriously organise ourselves if we are ever to stand a chance of achieving the same rights for all of us. White trans women benefit from white privilege as surely as any other white cis (non-trans) woman, and we must not let that privilege blind us to the plight of our Black trans sisters. Each day it becomes clearer that we cannot rely on allies when the chips are down, and so the responsibility to help our Black trans sisters falls squarely on the shoulders of all trans women.

Eboni T-Girl’s cry from the heart should be heard, and acted upon, by all trans women. “From each according to her ability, to each according to her need“, to paraphrase an old white cissexual man with a beard.

One Response to “Are Black Transwomen Fighting A Lost Cause?”

  1. Eboni T-Girl Says:

    Greetings,

    I for one continue to be an amateur historian/Griot, and pride myself on the accomplishments of my African ancestors. I have studied the history of trans people in antiquities in all cultures as data provides us with. Currently those of us who are a part of the African American community are aware that there is a movement called “consciousness”. This is a movement that involves educators to be able to teach us (blacks) how to look at ourselves for who we truly are, and to shed away the negative things that has effected our community as a whole.

    The probelm is that those in the LGBT community seem to be left behind in this movement, irregardless if you are as black as 12,000 midnights. If you are trans you are rejected!!!! This can become frustrating when you know that trans people were looked upon with respect in antiquities from the Zulu’s to the Native Americans, and in ancient Babylon as well as Kemet to name a few.

    Yet the African Americans look to antiquities for their liberation to find great African American ancestors, yet conviently skip over those who were trans, and basicaly exclude us from anything significant to history as a whole. Yet our biobrothas and biosistahs will cry over the fact of Europeans trying to erase them from history, but could care less when they try to erase black transsistahs from history…..the irony…… I know, becuase I have debated several Afrocentrist who are agianst Afro American trans women.

    I do feel that education is important, but it is time for us transistahs to become “conscious” in the fact that we had a great history, and will be dmned if anyone regardless of them being our own color or not wish to steal that from us, or prevent the respect due us as equal brothas and sistahs on this planet earth.


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