It's time for the black community to stop neglecting black trans women and leaving us to fend for ourselves.When myself, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors and community activist Blossom Brown interrupted Charlamagne tha GOD's Hip-Hop and Politics panel on the MSNBC stage at Politicon this weekend, we knew it would be the catalyst for an overdue conversation within the black community. [embed]https://twitter.com/ashleempreston/status/891821597073457153[/embed] As news of our protest spread like wildfire on social media platforms, thousands of people began stating their positions on whether they felt that Charlamagne tha GOD, and alleged comedian Lil Duval, held fault in the dangerous transphobic dialogue that took place on air last week during iHeartRadio’s show, The Breakfast Club. [embed]https://twitter.com/fatfemme/status/891367522561392642[/embed] Of course there were apologists who immediately began defending Charlamagne and Lil Duval. Instead of addressing how Charlamagne used previous guest, transgender author Janet Mock as a prop to provoke a controversial response from Lil Duval for sensationalism and ratings, they chose to argue that Lil Duval is his own man and independent of The Breakfast Club. They didn't see fault in Charlamagne and his co-hosts laughing hysterically at his adamant assertion that if he had sex with a trans woman he'd kill her. They didn't see any harm in Charlamagne and DJ Envy sexualizing Janet Mock – a married woman – by asking Lil Duval if he found her beautiful and if he'd engage in sex with a transgender woman. They chose to defend death to trans women by making the false argument that we are sexual predators who are out to trick men into having sex with us, therefore if we’re killed, it's a justifiable response.
There is no room for the active dehumanization of trans women, we’re done with your shit and we’re fighting back.Last week, Janet Mock was a guest on the popular radio show, The Breakfast Club. The author and activist is on a press tour to promote her newest book, Surpassing Certainty and she bravely appeared on the historically misogynistic show. The interview was anything but professional and things went very awry when hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne tha GOD put Mock in a hot seat of inappropriate and invasive questioning that focused heavily on her body in a way that can only be described as just plain ol’ harassment. Mock was subject to antagonizing questions such as, “what made you become a transgender as opposed to a gay male?”, “You had your penis cut off?”, “where did you get your boobs?” and at one point in the interview, Charlamagne tha GOD, bluntly asks, “do you have a clit?” in which Mock is visibly uncomfortable answering.
Pretending liberal communities are safe for everyone is doing more harm than good and it didn’t save Nabra Hassanen.By Aja Barber A few weeks ago my best friend met me at my house with two big bouquets of wilting purple tulips, one for each of us to hold as we walked solemnly to the plaza located a stone’s throw from my house for a memorial for a teenager. A child. A person whose smile evidently brought joy to every person who knew her. A child has been murdered and it rocked our liberal Northern Virginia community to its very core. While remembering Nabra Hassanen, I looked out and saw friends and neighbors – all of us holding bouquets and passing out flowers – so many faces with looks of searching. “How could this happen?” their faces read. Meanwhile inside, I was thinking, “How could you let this happen?” When will white liberals take the reigns in the fight against white supremacy? When will they stop looking the other way? When will they realize it’s up to them to dismantle white supremacy and not the burden for people of color to bear? Reston – my hometown and the place where Hassanen was brutally murdered – is supposedly imbued with liberal and progressive values. Reston was built as one of the first planned communities in the United States after World War Two. I’ve lived here for thirty odd years, my parents bought their house when I was barely a year old. I have never met a single liberal white person who didn’t want to shout in my ear about how accepting and wonderful Reston it is, how it is more special than any of the other places in Virginia. The chorus of back slapping and congratulatory applause gets to be a bit much.
In every action I take I am teaching my son not only about his own freedom, but mine as a Black woman and mother-artist and sex worker, because these are my intersections.Many people have asked – both out of curiosity and vindictiveness – what I will tell my son when he is older about who I am and what I do. I rarely consider this because it is my intention that my son know me as a whole person throughout his life. There will be few major revelations on his end as far as my work goes, because I am very open about it. I am very genuine and outspoken and age-appropriately honest. Sometimes I do wonder what I would do or how I should react if my son expresses shame because his mama was or is a sex worker? I hope that I am raising my son well enough that he could be open with me about his feelings. I hope that the men I have allowed into my life will not inadvertently pollute his mind with sexist ideals about who his mother should be or what she should be doing. I hope that because I am allowing my son to be his whole self – in a way that I never was allowed – he will recognize that I am doing the same. My self-expression is very important to my parenting. In every action I take I am teaching my son not only about his own freedom, but mine as a Black woman and mother-artist and sex worker, because these are my intersections. These are part of my identity, as well as being bisexual, demisexual and an assault/abuse survivor. I want my son to see women like me as entire humans. I also want him to know that I am not as unique and atypical as I seem.
Related: BEING NAKED WITH MY SON