Ever since I met Alexander John Goodrum at the 1999 Creating Change in Oakland I have been in love with y’all and was moved today to declare it publicly.
I have had a ringside seat as I watched mid to late 90’s leaders like Alexander and Marcelle Cook-Daniels not only step out there to organize your ranks, but lead in our overall trans community and the cities that were blessed to have them live there. I still miss Alexander and Marcelle and think about their tragic loss often.
I have been blessed to meet more of you brothers as I continued my own transition and activist journey and I am proud to call many of you my friends. I have marveled at the history your forbearers made such as Alexander, Marcelle, Wilmer Broadnax, Jim McHarris and countless others. I salute the transmasculine history makers that are in your midst today such as Kylar Broadus, Carter Brown, Kye Allums, Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler and others yet to do so and hope the trend continues.
My heart swells with pride when I see you stepping up to take leadership roles inside and outside our communities, organizing conferences and founding organizations, tell it like it T-I-S is about the issues that impact us, come up with innovative out of the box thinking to solve vexing issues and see you being loving fathers to your kids and faithful to your significant others.
I’m also heartened to see that your choices for significant others sometimes includes your trans sisters.
So yeah, I hope you can tell I’m exceedingly proud of you handsome brothers who are defining manhood on your own terms and I hope my transsisters are cosigning my sentiments that I’m writing here. It’s past time that you added your much needed voices to the far too one sided conversation at times about trans masculinity.
While I’m happy that we are in this second decade of the 21st century doing more work together to uplift our own transpeeps and the African-American community, we definitely have room for improvement to ensure that the positive trajectory continues. We need more dialogue and frank conversations about the issues that are of mutual importance to us. I have been frustrated like you have about the lack of visibility and publicity for your leadership and good works. I know I’m willing to do my part to change that.
In conclusion, know that I have mad love for you. I also have the utmost confidence that you, my Black transbrothers will continue on the path of doing amazing things not only for yourselves, but for our community as a whole.
And yeah, it goes without saying that you will look good while doing so.