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Back You are here: Home Sex, Gender & Sexuality Diversity - [Archived] ISGD Erased again: No black trans women at the White House LGBT reception

Erased again: No black trans women at the White House LGBT reception

Why was there yet another melanine-free trans guest list at a queer event hosted by an African-descended guest list? The white trans community can get as defensive as they like about it, but it’s just not good enough, writes Monica Roberts.

The guest list has yet to be released, but the trans people who attended the reception are already posting their pictures on Facebook and commenting about how wonderful it was.

Too bad so far there have been no African-descended trans women commenting about the recent Presidential GLBT reception.

Once again it seems as though just like last year, African American trans women were not in the house our ancestors built with their unpaid labor for a TBLG community event, and the defensive spin is already starting to come out of the white trans community.

'Well, I wasn't invited'. 'There were eight trans people invited to the White House' 'We should focus on the big picture'. 'Diego Sanchez was there'.

Easy for you vanilla-flavored privilege wielding trans people to say. Your section of the trans community as white trans males and white trans females was well represented. Once again my section of it wasn't.

News flash for you peeps, Diego Sanchez is a Latino transman.

I have much love and respect for him and his accomplishments, but he is Latino, not African American. Stop trying to hide behind Diego and make the ludicrous conclusion jump that because he was there, he represents ALL trans people of color.

But let's get real for a moment. How pissed off would you'd be if now for the second year in a row, a TBLG reception was hosted by a president that shares your ethnicity, you donated to his campaign and busted your behind to help put into office, and for the second year in a row you see no one who looks like you represented in the trans contingent at a LGBT 'community' reception?

And don't even get me started about last year's melanin-free trans House hearing on employment issues.

I and the African descended trans community and our allies are tired of the crap, tired of the erasure, and tired of the weak as excuses coming from white trans people trying to justify the erasure.

The late Lena Horne once said, 'You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way'.

But that was the message you sent when the guest list for a White House reception in a so-called diverse community for the second year in a row doesn't include any African-descended trans women.

We're good enough for four of us to win IFGE Trinity Awards, start and run organizations, lobby Congress, various state, local and civic legislative bodies, eloquently speak about trans issues to various groups, write about them and have the respect and admiration of our fellow trans activists from around the world, but not good enough to rate an invite to a congressional hearing to speak on behalf of the community or visit the White House?

How jacked up is that?

African American trans people are not born to be second-class citizens, nor are we going to accept or sit quietly in the corner when you white trans people treat us that way.

One time being ignored is an accident. Two or more times is a deliberate pattern.

Y'all can get mad all you want about me calling the trans community out about the erasure. But if you don't like me pointing out the obvious, there's a simple solution to fix this recurring problem: Don't submit melanin-free guest lists for these events in the first place.

You can spin it all you want, it doesn't change the ugly truth that once again, it appears that not one African-American trans woman was there at an LGBT event hosted by an African- descended president.

Monica Roberts is a writer, award-winning activist, lecturer, speaker, native Houstonian and Texan who transitioned in 1994 and absolutely loves her semi-boring life now. Visit her blog Transgriot where this piece first appeared.

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