Black Trans Community Creates Unique Space of Its Own in Dallas During Annual Conference

“You’re exactly who you’re supposed to be right now.”Slowly, clearly and with emphasis, Hope Giselle encourages a revolution. To the black trans people in the room, the declaration offers the support they often sorely lack. “Ashay!” The cry goes up, an expression of fervent agreement. The Wyndham Dallas Suites was alive with the encouraging exclamation last week. In panels, summits, discussions and speeches at the Black Trans Advocacy Conference, black trans people participated in an event unlike any other.Since 2012, black trans people have gathered in Dallas to discuss the challenges unique to being both black and transgender — intersecting identities that can compound the difficulties and discrimination they face.But the conference is not just a place to talk about issues facing black trans people — attendees are able to “bask in the greatness and glory of seeing ... [their community] in numbers,” Lee Dyer says.Dyer, a black trans man, was one of the 2019 conference’s three keynote speakers, along with Giselle, a black trans woman, and Lain Littlejohn, the first black trans nonbinary person to give a keynote address at the event.“You’re deserving of people’s time and space,” Littlejohn said, encouraging the gender-nonconforming people in the room to demand that others use their preferred pronouns to address them.  Continue reading...

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