Matt Comer

End of year honors: Angela Brightfeather

Filed By Matt Comer | December 30, 2008 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Angela Brightfeather, North Carolina, Person of the Year, transgender

Every year, the staff at Q-Notes in Charlotte sits down and wade through a list of names as we come to a consensus on who should be our Person of the Year. Our task is a great one: Choose a North or South Carolinian who has worked the hardest to ensure the continued equality of the LGBT community at home and nationally. We also try to focus our attention on the people who aren't likely to get much recognition elsewhere. Our Person of the Year honor is our little unsung hero's award. My job's the hardest I think: Compiling the list to present to my associate editor, publisher and other staff members.

I'm happy and pleased with the result. This year we were pleased to name transgender activist Angela Brightfeather our 2008 Person of the Year.

When we announced this year's honor in our Dec. 27 issue, our wonderful Bilerico editor Alex Blaze emailed me and suggested I share the news with the Project. Of course, I was happy to write again about Brightfeather -- she certainly deserves it.

From our Dec. 27 article:

From her humble home in North Carolina to the doorsteps of national organizations and the halls of Congress, there's no doubt that Angela Brightfeather has done her part this year.

If there were issues to be discussed, if the transgender community needed an advocate or if the transgender community was being ignored, Brightfeather stepped up.

The 63-year-old transgender leader and activist is a legend -- she's been involved in advocacy work since she was in her 20s; and she's certainly not afraid of ruffling feathers.

"Anybody who challenges the establishment is going against the flow," she told Q-Notes. "When you do that, you become the ultimate activist. You become the one that pushes too hard, that wants everybody to take a lead, the one who wants to really change things."

I've always admired Brightfeather. Her passion and outspokenness is a model for LGBT activists across the country. What makes her such a principled leader is that she's never afraid to speak her mind, no matter who she might be addressing. Her bold statements are backed by years of experience and a commitment to full transgender equality.

You can read more about Brightfeather, a regular Projector by the way, at our article announcing her honor. Be sure to check out some of those bold statements, including her thoughts on ENDA, Prop. 8, Barney Frank and HRC, at the end of the article.

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Thank you for bestowing onto my best friend Angela an honor she well deserves. I reposted your Q-Notes article on my blog at because I felt it was necessary.

Her and I started the Transgender American Veterans Association six years ago next month, and it has been her visions that have guided TAVA to provide help for the most forgotten veterans, and allowed us to make history in the process. She truly deserves this and I cannot thank you and your staff at Q-Notes enough for recognizing her for her work.

I had the pleasure of working with Angela during the founding of NTAC (National Transgender Advocacy Coalition). I would walk with her into the fires of hell, if she thought it would win rights. She is consistently on message and on target. She richly deserves any and all honors.

Just don't play billiards against her with money on the table. She will take you to school, and you will lose.

When I played her in 2006 fortunately I didn't have money on the table. She still beat my butt like a drum.

Thanks for posting this, Matt! I wanted more people to know.

Angela Brightfeather | December 30, 2008 8:23 PM

Dear Matt and the Staff of Q-Notes,

I love the Bilerico Project and I love Q-Notes, so let me say that I am very honored by the distinction Q-Notes has given me with this award, and I can not think of a better place to state that as right here in Bilerico.

I cannot thank you enough and to my friends who have congratulated me, I am even more honored to have known and worked with all of you. You all have been wonderful and I have learned so much from you over the years.

This is such a thrilling time in the lives of all GLBT activists. Only those who have worked through many years of breaking down walls and establishing liasons, contacts and allies can truly appreciate what it is like to hear a future President of this country state that he understands and appreciates the the message we have been screaming about all these years.

We now stand on the brink of true achievement for everyone in the GLBT community and it's time to roll up our sleeves, point ourselves inthe right direction and press forward with everything that we can muster to make our communal hopes reality in the next four years, and to undo the injustices of the past eight years. Hope is real and success is just another picket, Pride celebration or Lobbying Day away for all of us.

Let us all join our hands and march into this battle together, with the thought that there will never be a better time for us to make the needed and historic changes in our lifetimes. This is it. This is the time we have all been working towards and I look forward to our success as a unified GLBT community.

Let us always be mindful, that what we do as activists will save people's lives. I cannot think of a better way to frame our work right now.

Angela is one of a few that does without thanks. Angela attends many functions at her own expense regardless of geographic location. Angela is not afraid of hitting the sidewalk to protest any wrongs that many do against the transgender Community. As a result many times she has been shunned by many in our community because they don't believe or agree with her politics. Yet Angela pushes on without hesitation. Angela is a true T-Soldier, I'm glad to call her my friend. Its about being an unselfish person with an open heart and also being a true shaker and mover. Its a great honor to be recognized as an effective leader. Angela did not ask to be recognized as the GBLT person of the year by Q-Notes they chose her based on her merit, that's the way it should be.

In closing I want to say way to go Angela.

Hugs Janice Covington Allison Chair of TransCarolina

Jennifer Lewer | January 1, 2009 1:52 PM

Congratulations Angela you deserve this award.

Joni Christian | January 1, 2009 7:32 PM

Blessings, always