They say today is Trans day of Visibility…..
And I get that.
But for me… at least in the greatest days of my life they are valuable everyday. I see them. I love them. I appreciate them. And I’m inspired by them.
These womxn and men of Trans experiences have completely reshaped how I see and view the world. They’ve rearranged my idea of what courage looks like.
I remember growing up with transwomxn in my late teens, early twenties. Kaarmen, Blanca, and Jhene were their names. They all were vastly different but each one made me feel seen. Each one had something about them that was fascinating and fearless. They became my life long sisters. How they made me feel seen, loved, and appreciated has been the shared experience ever since.
I remember the day I meet Marquise… Blahnik at the time. This man was so fine admittedly so and the glow he exuding was enamoring. He was strong. He was a gentleman. He was ambitious. He was casually yet boldly standing in his blackness. I saw a strong black man. In fact … he was “if strong black man” was a person for me. And I recall being told (not from him) … “ you know he is Trans”. For reason I felt a way about how they said that to me. I can’t tell you how much that moment lives on with me. Marquise was seen before anyone told me anything. I meet the man that mattered.
I remember meeting Vanessa Frost. And no I’m not talking about times before but the day I saw her eyes glisten. She was a flower blooming right in front of my eyes. Those days she would go to school and change clothes before the day started. The don’t tell my parent’s road trips to find her truth. I was seeing a girl becoming a young lady right in front of me. In those moments I became a big brother. A protector when I use to struggle to protect myself. And she just like those before her made me feel seen.
I remember meeting Sayer Johnson. Seeing him reach his arms out to others without hesitation. You could feel his heart. You became a witness to his integrity.
I remember meeting Tori Cooper. This strong black womxn. She embodies radiance and independence. You could see your mother. You could hear your aunt. And I felt safe.
I remember meeting Adonis Margiela. Focused. Driven. Honest. The brother I needed. Hearing him speak truth to power. Being fascinated by his dedication to not only visibility but respect.
I remember meeting Miyonnee Hickman. That voice. Musically connected and instantly attached. That angelic voice rings. The one who never closed her doors to anyone.
It’s the hugs from Jahaira that were full of unconditional love. The tough love of Amaya. The we will get through it sibling arguments with Giselle. The dedication of Toni Bryce. The passion of Gabrielle. The heart of Mariah. The strength of Jazelle. The love of Teiona. The fierceness of Laverne. The boldness of Tyra. The creativity of Jay Alexander. The elegance of Trace. And so on and so much more that make these men and womxn so important to me.
Because of them I see the world differently. Understanding how truly fluid and diverse the world really is. How it’s bigger than some of the biblical boxes I was taught to stay in. How it transcends the heteronormative society I was born into. The way gender is far more nuanced than body parts. To see folx exactly as there are in front of my face and love the unconditionally for it.