I was shocked and surprised to discover BET.com puts out a list of what it considers as the 'Who's Who in Black GLBT America' and has done so for three years now.
Jasmyne Cannick, one of the people some Projectors love to hate, made the list for the third consecutive year. The other Black GL people that made this year's list were Wanda Sykes, Angela Davis, Kecia Cunningham, Palm Springs, CA mayor Ron Oden, poet Staceyann Chin and Anthony Woods (the Black GL community's version of Lt. Dan Choi) who is running to become the first openly gay African-American congressmember.
There are a total of 33 African-American GLBT people on this list. Care to guess how many African-American transpeople were on it?
The same number that were part of the transgender contingent at the White House GLBT event last week.
BET.com put Kevin Aviance on the list, but note to BET.com and the rest of the world gay and straight: A Black New York based drag artist does not equal to transman or transwoman.
While I'm happy for the people that did make the list, I'm also disappointed and hurt that once again, not one person from the 'T' portion of my community was selected.
It also speaks once again to how invisible Black trans people are, even in our own damned community.
FYI, There's a transman who is the board chair of the National Black Justice Coalition named Kylar Broadus. I and others have talked about Dr. Marisa Richmond on more than a few occasions on this blog and my own. I've listed numerous leaders of African descent who are proud to be Black and transgender, and doing excellent noteworthy work on behalf of the GLBT community.
But once again, when it's time for the recognition, the Black trans community gets shut out.
I'm in agreement with my sis Dionne Stallworth. It's time that we Black trans people really start tooting our horns, seriously raise our profiles, compiling our history, interviewing and pumping up our people. We need to fight for and demand our place in the GLBT spotlight.
Angela Brightfeather eloquently pointed out why I'm concerned about the invisibility when she wrote a comment on the Melanin-free Transgender contingent thread,
The Transgender Community has many leaders who have spent the majority of their lives working for the gains and victories that we now have a chance to attain. Those people cover a wide spectrum of our community, from life experience to the color of their skin and that diversity needs to be recognized and honored as an example of determination and sacrifice for the sake of others and as role models for those yet to enter the fight for equal rights.
It's obvious that if we depend on the goodwill of others to do that, the invisibility of African descended transpeople will continue.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting more than a little sick of getting dissed, erased and ignored by the entire fracking GLBT community, Black and White.