What’s the Tea?

by Mahkesha Hogg
Black LGBT Issues Columnist

Some of you may be wondering what the “tea” means. It is gay slang for gossip which I believe was started by drag queens. When you have tea with your friends you usually gossip.

This month I’m going to cover recent events that pertain to the black LGBTQ community – everything from activism and social media to TV shows featuring black trans cast members.

If you haven’t seen the new TV series Starthen you should definitely give it some attention because it features not one but two black trans female characters who give the realness of what it is like to live life as a trans person of color. Both of the actresses that portray these characters are trans females in real life.

Amiyah Scott plays Cotton Brown, a very beautiful woman who has to perform sex work to save up for her sex reassignment surgery. Her mom Carlotta, played by Queen Latifah, is struggling with her daughter’s identity but loves her very much.

I admire Amiyah because she quit The Real Housewives of Atlanta because producers kept asking her to be overly sexual which she knew was a stereotype of trans women.

The other trans female character is the very opinionated Miss Bruce, (who is Miss Lawrence in real lifeO. She is a hair stylist in Carlotta’s salon. It is refreshing to see black trans characters playing roles that portray normal everyday life and the very intense struggles they face.

Creator Lee Daniels said that he wanted the show to be as real as possible. Unfortunately, black trans people often have had to do sex work in order to survive because of work discrimination. It’s the ugly truth.

Speaking of truth…Caitlyn, Caitlyn, Caitlyn. Miss Caitlyn Jenner seems to not realize (after being told several times by her trans sisters) that the Republican Party is not trans friendly.

When Caitlyn came out of the closet she had hopes and dreams of being the trans ambassador to the Republican Party. It sounds good in theory, but she was in denial about the horrible anti-trans legislation that her party has passed in recent years.

She is blinded to what life is like for a typical trans person and was very lucky to have wealth on her side when she quickly transitioned. She is still thinking like a white male cisgender Republican.

Caitlyn, welcome to the minority world.

Recently, when Trump reversed protections for trans school kids she made a video asking Trump to call her, “you know ‘Republican to Republican.’”

When the black social media star TS Madison got news of this she went off. TS Madison is an extremely crude vocal celebrity and she did not hold anything back when explaining to Caitlyn that she needs to learn a few things about what life is like for trans people (especially trans people of color) who have been living this difficult life longer than her.

I feel that HRC (Human Rights Campaign) put Caitlyn out as a spokesperson for the trans community too quickly.

A lot of trans people I spoke to felt like it was all about her wealth and she had no idea of the struggle. People had to gain the strength, after years of bullying, to speak out. They did not get a TV interview with Diane Sawyer to explain their lives.

Sometimes you have to be humbled by those who were in the dirt before you. It’s okay to sit back and learn.

I am so happy that trans people are being portrayed more in television and film. In fact, the black LGBTQ film, Moonlight just won the Oscar for Best Picture. That is a historic moment that had me in awe.

Slowly but surely, we rise.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly - 4/11/2017 @ 8:16 a.m. CDT