BLACK TRANSGENDER LIVES MATTER.
That should be the end of the conversation, but sadly it is not and I think I know what it is. Transgender people are afraid all the time, but because of the struggles they go through, that fear comes across as strength and people are afraid of the strong.
They are afraid of what it means when they come across someone who isn’t afraid of themselves, who is proud to be loud and out and open, and mostly…people who are afraid of the LGBTQ Black community are fucking stupid.
I am watching the world rally around men who have been killed by cops and I can’t help but think “what about Black women?” and “What about Black Trans Women?” “where do we fit into the conversation?”
The reason I lump Black Trans women in with that “we” is because I genuinely believe that Transgender women are women. I don’t think they were born in the wrong bodies, I think they make adjustments to their bodies in order to feel more at home, or they don’t, the choice is entirely up to them. Their reasons are entirely their reasons, and my only question is “are you happy?” added by the “if you aren’t happy, how can I help you find your happiness?” question.
This isn’t because I am a good person, or even because I am a “woke” person, it’s because I understand what it feels like not to feel at home in my own body, it’s because I’ve been sexually abused by men who tried to claim my body, my vessel for their own needs. It’s because these women, are my sisters.
They could be my mother, aunt, cousin, Grandmother, or one day…my daughter. These women have lives and personalities, dreams and hopes and desires that matter to the global consciousness, and by ignoring them what we are really saying is “your life matters, your life matters, but not yours because you don’t fit into the hetero-normative box that we’ve decided you need to fit into in order to be accepted by your community.”
That’s not okay. If you truly believe that Black lives matter than you have to believe ALL our Black lives matter, not just the few you deem worthy.
I may not be Transgender, but I know what it is like to be defined by my gender, as if that is the only thing that matters about me. I am so much more than just a woman, I am a writer, I am a friend, I am hopefully one day a Teacher. I work towards my goals just like every other person on the planet, but the difference between me and the haters is that I make a concentrated effort to make room for others in my life, regardless of what form their body comes in.
We are so much more than our bodies, we are so much more than our minds, and until we accept all people, equally, into our communities we will continue to be forced to live in a broken society.
It is long past time that we get over the idea that women cannot be born with the same physical genitalia as men, it is passed time that we start accepting people as they need us to accept them, instead of how we’re willing to accept them.
And if you can’t do that, if you honestly cannot make room for Trans people in your life then get the fuck out of their way and make room for those who will.
Because they aren’t going anywhere. Black Trans women and men are here to stay, and every time you kill one ten more rise up in their place. They are like a more fabulous less evil version of Hydra.
Sending all my love to my Trans Sisters,
Devon J Hall
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