Black, Trans and Proud
In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, NBJC launched Black, Trans & Proud, a campaign promoting trans visibility and raising consciousness in the Black community. Black, Trans & Proud called for community members to submit their photos and testimonials telling us what makes them walk with their heads held high and full of pride.
As part of the campaign, NBJC featured ads with trans trailblazers who have paved the way for our community and our nation as a whole:
Check out their full testimonies and the submissions we received on Twitter and Facebook below.
“I'm proud to be an Afro-Latino trans man because my communities have made room for me to be all that I can be. #BlackTransProud”
"I am very proud to be Black and trans because together my soul is charismatic and vibrant. I love the fact my two communities have shared legacies of being the backbone of fundamental things in society. I appreciate the fact my diverse experiences from each community have provided me with great inner strength and stubborn streak that nothing can break it. I enjoy the oneness, togetherness, and completeness in which has bonded my worlds together.
I am very proud to be Black and trans because it has given me the ability and power to no longer play the victim, but live authentically in my color and gender which allows me to express nature as a tool for education, unity, and reconciliation in a free society. I was created Black, I was created trans and I was created in the image of our Creator. I am very proud to be Black and trans because I was created in God’s likeness and for my designed purpose!"
“I love the skin I'm in and the history of Africa. I’m proud to be transgender because I see no shame in me celebrating all the parts of my identity that make me a full human being.”
“Happy Transgender Awareness Week!!! #BlackTransProud”
“It's important to be out and proud of the fact that we’re living our lives as our true authentic selves. Being out and proud not only helps the Black community realize and accept that trans men exist but also helps Black trans youth realize that they are not alone. There are trans people that know and understand what you're going through.
I'm currently working with a few trans male youth. Smiles come over their faces when they see someone they can identify with and experience acceptance as opposed to the rejection they often receive from their homes, families and schools. It helps them to realize that it's not going to be an easy life, but definitely worth it. You can live a positive and productive life despite what society says or where they try to put you.”
“My parents, having been children of slaves always taught my sister and I to be proud of who we were as Black Americans. My parents and many of my other ancestors had endured colonization, slavery, segregation and Jim Crow but marched proudly and fought for the civil rights of Black people. I also watched how my parents worked to make a better life than theirs for my sister and me. It was this drive and self-determination that I took on to make my life better. I knew my transition would not be easy but it was a road worth taking and one that even with all the obstacles I haven’t regretted. It has made me strong and resilient.”
“What makes me most proud to be Black and trans is the legacy of strength, resilience and courage from which I am descended. I grew up in Alabama, the site of so many civil rights struggles. I feel that history coursing through my veins, giving me strength every day. I now live in New York City, the place where trans women of color like Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson helped kickstart the modern LBGT civil rights movement with the Stonewall Rebellion. I come from great stock and that gives me great pride.”
Watch Laverne’s “I AM: Trans People Speak” video here. I AM: Trans People Speak” is a campaign created by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and sponsored by GLAAD to raise awareness about the diversity of transgender communities.
“I am proud to be Black and trans because I live my identity with love and I believe in the strength of my community.”
“I never dreamt that I would have the life I have now – the love of God, the love of family, the opportunity to live my life serving those who are coming into themselves behind me. When I began my transition there were only two Black trans men I knew or knew of. Within the first year or so of my transition, both of them had committed suicide. I have since met other elders that had to survive so much to blaze a trail for me. I hope that my life is an honor to them and to the many others who I don’t know about.”
“I'm a woman. I'm Black. I'm trans. And I'm alive. That's a radical idea if you really think about it because trans women of color - specifically black and brown bodies - are active agents in our own survival despite unbearable statistics, lack of resources, dehumanizing media stories and exiling from many spaces. And the notion of survival isn't new. We've always been survivors (I bow to Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera as I write this). For me, personally and politically, there's no separating my womanness, my blackness, my transness from my me-ness. I am a trans woman of color who is writing, speaking, loving, fighting, smiling, living and who honestly has no choice but to be exactly who I am and use the blessings I have been given to shed light on the struggles and triumphs of my community. To be of service and to be fully me makes me proud.”
"I am proud to be Black and trans since there was no other journey for me to take to receive full happiness and joy. I love God and God loves me."
“I'm an author, public speaker and activist, but most of all I'm a comic book enthusiast. #BlackTransProud”
"I am proud to be Black and trans because so many die thinking something is wrong with being one or the other if not both. I am brave enough to walk in my truth."
"I am grateful to experience the journey of gender transition. My life is healthier and it makes me happier to exist. #BlackTransProud"