Monica Roberts

First Musings

Filed By Monica Roberts | January 25, 2008 6:48 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: African-American, Monica Roberts, transgender

Before I get this post started, I wanted to say thank you to my fellow Bilerico Project contributors and everybody who sent me e-mail, either publicly or privately congratulating me on becoming a Project contributor. It's deeply appreciated.

Now that my new account here has been activated, the housekeeping work is done, and I'm getting familiar with the differences between the blog platform the Project uses and the one I use for TransGriot, the question I've been pondering for the last few days as I compressed a 40 hour work week into three days, is what do I want to say to the Project fans in my first post here?

I think I'll just give you a sense of where I'm coming from as you read this and other subsequent posts of mine here at The Project. I'll have plenty of time and an extra day (since this is a leap year) to comment in future posts on various issues impacting this community.

First and foremost, I am a proud African-American who happens to be a proud transwoman. The African-American takes precedence over any other word used to describe me. That means that many of my viewpoints, the opinions I express and my take on events in the GLBT/SGL community and in the world at large will not always neatly line up with your perceptions of the same given event. I am filtering it through an African-American prism and I won't apologize for that.

As an activist who has been passionately pushing for transgender inclusion socially and legally for a decade, I've had a ringside seat in two states, two cities, at the federal level and as a board member of several organizations in terms of the drama between the transgender community, HRC and the neo-Mattachine elements of the GLBT community. So when I either praise or call folks out, I'm drawing on that background.

I'm a voracious reader and come from a family of historians, so I take pains to ensure my posts are as accurate as I can make them when I'm kicking knowledge to you. As an African-American transgender blogger, I'm also aware that I'm a trailblazing representative of this community as well. I take seriously my opportunity to inform, educate and enlighten you about not only my African-American transpeeps, but the African-American community at large. I'm also keenly interested in events that happen throughout the Diaspora and on the African continent, and will comment on those from time to time as well.

Bear in mind that I'm not the African-American transperson or the African-American transleader, I've just been at it for a while. I'm the one who was willing to speak up, write, do the radio and print interviews, co-host a radio show on GLBT issues, create a blog, and do the work necessary that helped me earn a Trinity Award. I'm one of many in a community that is not monolithic in thought except when it comes to our shared desire for having our human rights respected and protected.

My major goal when I post here at the Bilerico Project and my own blog is to get you to think. Whether my posts make you laugh, cry, tick you off or cause you to look at an issue in a different light, that is what I'm striving to do in the spirit of Kingian love and understanding.

Finally, to quote one of my heroes, the late deejay Jack 'The Rapper' Gibson, I'm gonna tell it like it T-I-S is!

So Bilerico Project, are you ready for the TransGriot?

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*Sits up straight, notebook and pen poised*
Off you go, Monica! Welcome to Bilerico and I look forward to reading your posts. :-) Felix (in the UK)

Welcome Monica! Great first post!

Teacher's here. Class is in session......and if you're friendly with HRC and Frank, you'll need to stay for detention hall.

Welcome, teach!

Good to see that you're off to a great start here, Monica.

I'd hope that at around 50 contributors that no one here is seen as *the* anyone or anything. If anything, I've learned more how people's individual beliefs cross-over a lot between different categories of what one would think a "trans person", a "lesbian mom", an HIV prevention worker, etc., would believe.

We're out to make the world more complicated, not less!!

Diversity is a wonderful thing isn't it?

Welcome Monica
Take care

Welcome to the Bilerico family, Monica!