Showing posts with label trans woman of color. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trans woman of color. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Transgender Glass Ceiling Came Crashing Down!

Last night was a big breakthrough evening for transgender women and trans men everywhere, thanks to several mid term election victories.

Details from the Washington BladeLAKE RIDGE, Va. —" Danica Roem on Tuesday soundly defeated Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) in a race that garnered national attention.
With 100 percent of precincts in the 13th District reporting, Roem defeated Marshall by a 54-45 percent margin.

Roem, a former journalist, will become the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country once she is sworn into the Virginia House of Delegates in January.
Althea Garrison in 1992 became the first trans person elected to a state legislature in the U.S. when she won a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, but she did not publicly discuss her gender identity during the campaign. Stacie Laughton in 2012 became the first openly trans person elected to a state legislature when she won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, but she later ended her bid to sit in the chamber after convictions for credit card and identity fraud became public.
Andrea Jenkins, who is a trans woman of color, on Tuesday was elected to the Minneapolis City Council."
Jenkin's (who I have had the pleasure to see speak) Is a very accomplished author, play wright and activst.  Jenkins most recently was awarded a Bush Fellowship as well as a Fellowship in the Cultural Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts and was named a fellow in the Many Voices Fellowship at the Playwrights Center, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
What a night! Follow the links for more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Laverne Cox Lectures in Dayton!

Bio-headshotLast night was my much anticipated visit to Laverne Cox's speaking engagement at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She did not disappoint!!!!

She began with a short bio of growing up as a poor black boy in Alabama, and slowly bringing her life along to where it is today.

Several of her basic messages hit home to me, including her belief a woman in not born-she is created over her life. (They happened to be born female and grew into women.) Laverne said the first time she read that from powerful , well known women thinkers-she knew she would be a woman-on her own terms.

Obviously along the way, she wove in the influence and plight of trans women of color and why seemingly they have the most difficult times within their own races.

Then, she positively drove a knife in my heart when she related her stories of people screaming "Hey that's a Man!"

What I learned and walked away from her presentation was; a new found respect of who I was.  How difficult it was to get here, yet how far I still had to go.

Thanks Laverne! Today I'm just a little more secure and happy with who I am.  In many ways, I'm still the 14 old kid feeling there has to be something wrong with me and I am so alone. After last night- I don't feel so alone again!!! (Wow, such a famous, successful and yes beautiful transgender woman as had some of the same life experiences as I?)

If you ever have a chance to see her-do it!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Walking Tall -Two

Thanks to all of you for the comments concerning the "personal security" post I wrote a couple days ago which happened to involve -more precisely a transgender woman's murder (suspect arrested) and my partner Liz and I's night at the Northern Kentucky Pride event pub crawl.

As far as Cincinnati goes, the downtown area along the Ohio River is positively booming and will soon be home to a huge GE (General Electric) headquarters but as with any other place, there are places you don't want to be as a guy and especially as a woman and even more so as a transgender woman.

I'm fortunate for all the wrong reasons when my personal security is involved.  To quote a term from the trans woman (left) in the movie "Better than Chocolate", she is not just a big woman-she is enormous. 

This body I received through no choice of my own has kept me healthy over 65 years, big enough to not be bullied, etc...but...of course it does not MtF easily. Like so many others, I wasn't lucky enough to be born into a time and a family where I could have considered a choice of not having my body do what it was born to do...masculinize.

So now, this curious gender critter I have become has a chance of keeping unwanted advances away. The usual good news/bad news story.

None of it mattered though if and when I found myself  in potentially violent situations.  You all know the drill.  Know your surroundings and if you can carry some sort of deterrent such as pepper spray.  I have read comments here and there cross dressers and or transgender women saying they are "packing heat" (a gun) and are ready to fire away.  To be certain, if I did that, I would be in danger of shooting myself first and yes I did go through Army infantry training.

The most important lesson I pass along every now and then here in Cyrsti's Condo is how fast you can find yourself in a bad situation.  Years ago, I was cornered by a much bigger guy than I and would have been put in a possible very bad situation if I wasn't "recused". 

Before that experience, I had a very smug idea about women being sexually assaulted.  I always wondered why some of them didn't see it coming.  Two out of three of the potentially bad spots I found myself in, I didn't see it coming,  and one in fact, was in a friend's decidedly upscale home.

In the past, I have had as many comments around here concerning personal security as I have had about rest room issues.  All you have to do is look at the stats to see how big of a problem violence is to the TG/CD community and the problem is even worse if you are a transperson of color.

All of us just have to be extra careful out there!

Friday, June 27, 2014


While we bitterly kick around issues such as who is "trans enough" and who is politically correct...the real world comes crashing through...very close to me...since I am from Ohio and live part time in Cincinnati.

From Trans Ohio:

We are a community that pushes forward even as our community continues to face onslaughts of negative press, slurs and excessively high rates of violence.  We have to. 
Tiff Edwards, a 28-year-old trans woman of color was found dead yesterday morning in the middle of a Cincinnati street.  She had been shot to death and her body was found by a city sanitation employee. 
Tiff is the fourth trans woman to be murdered in Ohio within the last 18 months.  “The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It’s happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter,” Shane Morgan, said founder and chair of TransOhio.
Police aren't sharing much information about their investigation. We urge anyone in the Cincinnati community to contact the Cincinnati Police Department or call the Criminal Investigation Section at 352-3542 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 352-3040 or text “CINTIP” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).  Callers may remain anonymous and may receive compensation for their information. 
"While I didn't know Tiff or the circumstance surrounding her death, what I do know is that no human being deserves to die in such a violent way. Based on comments from social media she was well liked and will be missed but not forgotten. My prayers go out to her family and friends, may God comfort and keep them through this turbulent time," say Arykah Carter, TransOhio Board Member.
This violence must end.  Trans Lives Matter.  Not One More.
Not one more murder. Not one more death. Not one more.

We simply AREN'T disposable people!!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How the Other Half Lives

Don't hold me to the percentage of transgender sex workers around the world. Probably way short of 50% but I did encounter a trans sister of sorts almost a week ago a couple blocks from my house.

I live a couple blocks away from a less than upscale neighborhood corner known for it's bar (home to a fatal shooting last summer) drug deals and of course prostitutes.  Just a little insight into why I'm cleaning out and moving.  I've been here for the greatest part of the years between 1978 and now and the area has come and gone with it's inhabitants- now this time-I'm going.

Going I was, when this person walked across the cross walk ahead of me in the street, wearing a red "hoodie" jeans and matching red lipstick.  Obviously a cross dressed or transgender hooker of color. Nothing was coming and as I slowly rolled through the stop sign our eyes met for a moment.  My first impression was to feel total disgust until I thought of one particular young trans woman I met last summer at the Trans Ohio Symposium who grew up on the streets of Detroit and LA when her parents kicked her out. Again I felt disgust-on how she had been treated.

It's likely I won't see her again and even more likely to learn anything of her life.  Just seeing her for that brief second though gave me a brief glance into how the other half lives- and how helpless I felt.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

So Close to Home

From Shane Morgan, Trans Ohio Founder & Chair:

"Tuesday, April 30, 2013 Not One More.

   Those words still resonate with me. It’s the title of a poem written by our board member Erin Upchurch and read aloud at the 2011 Trans Day of Remembrance

. Not One More. Today, we learned that a community member from the Olmsted Township, a western suburb of Cleveland, was murdered and found floating in a local pond. She had been stabbed and tied to a concrete block. Local newspapers quoted people saying that they thought that she was a “mannequin, floating in the water” – the image of this burns in my head, just as the image of Matthew Shepard does – propped up against a fence like a scarecrow.

  Not One More. The outrageous and the stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the media are unthinkable, and honestly I find myself having to be reserved in what I write about them – the media, at this very moment. It disgusts me on so many levels; I don’t even know where to begin. Not One More. “While we remember and honor the life of Ce Ce, we - her community - have the responsibility to ensure that her death, her life and her struggle do not exist in vain," says TransOhio board member Erin Upchurch from Columbus. “The violent death of this young woman is unconscionable and needs to be addressed. Ce Ce was someone’s child but the perpetrator of this horrific crime could not see that all they saw was how she was different and trying to live their life the best they knew how. This is the third trans woman of color murdered in April in the United States alone and this needs to stop! This was a beautiful young lady whose life was stolen from her and all the news can talk about was what she was wearing, shame on them!” shared Cleveland trans activist, Jacob Nash.

   Not One More. “As a representative of MTQWI and the Cincinnati Trans* Community Group, I am both saddened and appalled by the news Cemia’s death. This tragic loss, and how it was handled by the media, reminds us of harsh realities; that transgender youth continue to be at severe risk; that transgender women, especially women of color, are frequent targets of violence; and that society still struggles to recognize trans* people as human beings deserving of kindness, love, and respect. Cemia’s attackers robbed her of her life and the offensively transphobic language of the Cleveland Plain Dealer robbed her of her dignity. We stand with Cemia Dove tonight as members of the trans* community and as fellow human beings,” says JAC Stringer.

   Not One More. It’s a difficult thing to wrap my head around – such intentional brutality intended to be hidden and never surfacing – literally. As a human being, as a compassionate person, as somebody’s friend, brother, sister, child – I can’t even begin to comprehend what Ce Ce’s family and friends are going through. As a community, we cannot allow this kind of violence to continue to happen, nor can we continue to allow the media, those who use our faces on camera or stories on the tv – we cannot allow them to use us – ANY OF US – especially our trans brothers and sisters of color – to be beaten down, brutalized and shown in the media as if there is something wrong with us, that we must have deserved such treatment. Tonight and as tomorrow comes and goes, we must reaffirm our commitment to one another, to our community. We must stand up for one another and put aside differences. We’re stronger together as a unit – let us not forget that. Stay strong. Grieve. Heal. Stay committed. You are worth it. We are worth it. In community,

 Shane Morgan Founder & Chair, TransOhio"

   As the sun came up so brightly on a Spring day and the birds were chirping here...this very dark cloud came across the horizon.