Out with the old, in with the new 

by Amanda Kerri 
Transgender Issues Columnist 

Another Pride season has pretty much come and gone and the third-degree sunburn I somehow managed to get on the tops of my feet has finally healed. It was good but exhausting fun helping run the “largest privately held event in OKC each year” and I’m glad I did it. However, I’m still exhausted. It’s a lot of long, hard work that comes with little recognition and a lot of grief.  

But it’s also rewarding. Probably the most rewarding thing aside from getting to run around in the golf carts the whole time, is having the people who have gotten to know me through my writing, my work on the board and my comedy act give a shout out to me. “Hey Miss Amanda, how are you?” 

I love that people know me and recognize me now, but not that they call me “Miss Amanda.” Only unmarried 50-year-old women who wear teacher sweaters to work get called Miss and their first name and I most certainly am not 50! I do though, sometimes feel like it. 

Between my full-time job, the work I do as a writer, the comedy and my advocacy for trans issues, I feel tired and worn down. I love doing all of it and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it really is exhausting. What I would love to see, is someone taking some of this work off my plate. Oh, not because I can’t or don’t want to do it, but because they want to do it.  

There’s only been a handful of transgender rights advocates in this state who have put a lot of work in and thank God for them, but let’s face it, they’re getting worn down. Yes, this includes me. For as much as we all have enjoyed the work fighting for what we believe in, we have other things going.  

We’d really love some more “me time.” By that, in my case, I mean sitting on my couch eating mint chocolate chip ice cream and watching Star Trek re-runs, but by God, there’s value in that.  

What I would love to see is the younger generation step up. I want some twenty-something who is ready to slap the world upside its head and pay attention to take over. It’s 2017 and the world has changed a lot since I first came out and began my transition.  

The needs, desires and focus of the trans community are very different from the ones we had when I was younger. The things that I think the community needs are different than what the younger folks think they need.  

It’s time for new fresh blood to start taking part in the community. I know that the board of OKC Pride has taken on a lot of new and younger voices who have been a great boon to the group. There’s always some space for volunteers with the many other organizations (across the region) as well. And there’s always room for new support and advocacy groups to step up and play a role in Making Oklahoma Great Again.  

Wait, MOGA? That’s a terrible acronym, forget I said anything. In fact, that’s a great example of why we need you guys to step up and play a role. New ideas, new energy, new catch phrases. Every few years, we need to take on some new community leaders, new advocates and new role models just to keep the momentum we’ve built up going. 

I’m not stepping down from what I do. I’m not quitting. I always have new opportunities to take on and new challenges to face. I’m just saying that I want to see some new faces out here building a better LGBT+ community all across the nation.  

And honestly, I need a nap.

Copyright The Gayly - 8/6/17 7:35 a.m. CST