by Guest Contributor Monica Roberts, originally published at TransGriot
One of the beauties of surfing the Net is that from time to time, you’ll stumble across a nugget of history or some photo that you weren’t even aware existed.
I’ve mentioned that JET, EBONY and the now defunct HUE magazines when they first started back in the day served as historical chroniclers of the Black experience in America. Google just negotiated a deal in which they will be digitizing pre-1960′s EBONY and JET magazines so that you can access their content on the Net.
One of the things I discovered to my delight is that in order to fulfill their mission of documenting the Black experience, EBONY and JET also covered events and discussed Black GLBT issues.
In addition to asking pointed questions about the Black GLBT experience, they also covered the New York and Chicago drag balls as well.
The other night while searching through Flickr and other places for photos of African-American transwomen for future posts, I stumbled across some African-American transgender history.
Most of it is the coverage of Chicago’s Finnies Ball and the New York ones. I chuckled when I saw the HUE article that asks if you can tell the difference between female illusionists and genetic women.
I also noted the incorrect pronouns and the ‘her’ in quotation marks used in some of the articles.
While it was atrocious in the 50′s, I noted that by the 70′s, JET was doing a better job of discussing transgender issues with accuracy and sensitivity two decades before the AP Stylebook guidelines even were published.
But unfortunately some of the attitudes reflected in those articles are still expressed by some of my people.
Some of my peeps think that me and my fellow transpeople aren’t serious about this path we’re taking, or think it’s a joke.
It’s serious business. Why would anyone subject themselves to the amount of ridicule, physical violence and abuse if they weren’t serious about this?
The other fallacy that keeps popping up is that Black transgender people are a new phenomenon. These articles dating back to the early 50′s and the history of the Harlem Renaissance say otherwise.
(Photo Credit: Ebony, Jet, and Hue Magazines)
About This BlogRacialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable
Keanu ReevesJohn Cho newsflashes.
Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.
Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.
Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.
Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.
Follow Us on Twitter!
- croquet on Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- Shazza on The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- nicthommi on Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
- the_miekster on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- moniyer on Race + The Netherlands: Resistance, Lost in Translation
- The Walking Dead Roundtable: 4.8 “Too Far Gone”
- Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
- The Racialicious Links Roundup 12.5.13: Black Twitter, Black Academics, Iran, Chicago and Elan Gale
- On Disability and Cartographies of Difference
- A Muslimah’s Guide to Rocking the World
- Quoted: Dr. David Leonard Pens Open Letter to Marissa Alexander
- The Acclaimed Web Series Black Folks Don’t Returns for a Third Season
- Comedian Aamer Rahman Explains “Reverse Racism”
TagsABC activism advertising african-american asian asian-american barack obama black celebrities comedy diversity fashion feminism film gender glbt HBO hip hop hispanic history hollywood identity interracial relationships Kerry Washington latino media mixed race movies music muslim politics race racial stereotypes racism religion Scandal sex sexism sexual stereotypes stereotypes True Blood tv Uncategorized white youtube