I have had a very challenging couple of weeks since my time at Creating Change 2016. I have had to struggle with the idea of sisterhood and solidarity. I will do my best to just explain where I am coming from. I will admit that I didn't think it would have to come to this, but I am physically exhausted and have no more time nor energy to devote to the events that have happened post-protest.
I know that I have lived a sheltered life away from the rest of my trans* sisters and I'm under the firm belief that it has been a good thing. I haven't dealt with a lot of the cattiness that I've been told about. I missed all of that in my early transition because I've always been the lone trans* girl in the crowd. I dealt with an altogether different kind of trauma, cis-drama. I have only recently begun to interact with more and more trans* women and there are several transgender women whom I absolutely adore. I'm not going to bad mouth any of the girls or cast blame any more on what happened in Chicago. It was quite liberating to know where I stand with people within the community. I learned, accepted and appreciated the fact that my community is what I make of it.
That was a lesson that I wasn't quite ready to learn when I attended the #outsouth15 conference in Nashville, TN back in December 2015. This sister in attendance heard what I offered into the space and wanted me to know that a lot of my trauma is self-inflicted because I continuously try to make a community of people who are not invested in my well-being. She made it clear that it had to stop and I had to redirect my actions and efforts into actively seeking out a community that would love and respect me and my decisions, even defend me if need be. I have since reached out to Kai and look forward to our conversation next week. I'm so eternally grateful that she introduced some much needed truth into my life. I heard you my sister even though it seemed like I didn't because I couldn't be receptive at the time, but I'm glad we were able to sort through some of the hurt before going our separate ways.
I have been seeking out a community since I announced I was a trans* woman living with HIV. I have since gained some very phenomenal people into my life. These people make it hard for me to describe them and their roles in my life because I tear up when I think about how good they have been to me. It's not my intent to make anyone feel any type of way with this blog and these are my words. Although some people would like to silence me, I simply can't sit idly by and allow it to happen. I won't name anyone because I feel that is petty and again I feel you're not deserving of a name drop and sharing in my platform. I don't feel I'm better than anyone. I only know how I can't interact with people who have shown me who they are and what I mean to them. I can accept it. I know that the majority of my true sisterhood is within the community of women living with HIV. There are a small number of women who are not. There are a majority of women who are not of trans* experience. Yet, the ones who are of trans* experience, I value immensely and wholeheartedly. My community includes family members who accept my truth as I claim it. My community consists of friends who have not allowed anything they have learned about me stop them from publicly stating their support of me and my work within the community. My sisterhood includes a multitude of nationalities and I love them all because they embraced me from the moment they met me. My sisterhood consists of many allies who are invested in my liberation.
I wanted this blog entry to be more of a reflection and acknowledgement of the beautiful people who know they continue to stand with me. I thank each and every one of you for all that you have done for me and how you continue to amaze me by your generosity and love.