1.For people who don’t already know you, please share a little about yourself, your work, and/or your activism.
I’m Carter Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Black Transmen, Inc. We are the first national, non-profit, Black trans led organization that empowers the Black Trans community through social advocacy, positive visibility, and building strong leadership. It was my personal experiences of having lack of support, resources, community, and equality as a Black transman that compelled me to create the organization.
Since we were founded in 2011, we have multiplied our presence and our impact on not only the Black Trans community, but much of society at large also. We work in alliance with several other leading organizations, schools, churches, medical providers, and media outlets, with the intent of establishing Black Transmen Inc. to be the indispensable resource for many issues facing the transgender community.
Currently, I actively lead a host of over 35 board, staff and volunteer members of the organization, and we’re building state chapters in over 9 U.S. States, pioneering others by example to “Become The Change You Want To See In The World”.
2. Many things shape who we are. What is one person or event or experience that has empowered you?
I consider myself to be a multidimensional person and as so I can’t contribute the many ways I’ve been empowered to just one person or experience. But the one person having the greatest influence of empowering me from my very root was Marilyn Brown, my mother. By example she was very humble, giving, and had a very liberal outlook of life in general. She also instilled a consciousness and appreciation for my identity as a Black person, a dark skinned person, a masculine person, and all facets of my makeup, as I am. She sanctioned me with pride, confidence, and the importance of speaking up for myself and others when it’s a matter of what’s right.
As credit to an event/experience that has empowered me it is by far the very first Black Transmen conference held in Dallas, TX in 2012. I vividly remember how nervous and excited I was before the event that I didn’t even sleep the night before. Prior, I’d never even so much as coordinated a birthday party and here it was a 4 day conference event coordinated by only a few of us, that’d attracted people from around the world, and they’re day of arrival had come! The first day of the conference I recall walking back and forth through the hotel to make sure all final preparations were in place for the event. As I was passing by the lobby, the first guy I saw and recognized from meeting online was the good brother Tiq Milan checking into the hotel at the front desk . I’m laughing now as I remember seeing him and feeling a little bit of shock and wonder, and I just kept walking, but was still looking at him as I continued walking on; the same as when you’re driving and see an accident on the opposite side of the road, and you keep moving slowly while rubbernecking the accident.
At that moment, the reality set in that a new movement was indeed just getting started. That brothers were ARRIVING. They were not just coming to an event, but they were arriving to answer the call to make powerful changes for their own lives and their own community! Brothers were arriving from some of everywhere in the U.S. to meet their fellow brothers with and embrace of respect and love, to gain and give the support we were all in search of.
The first conference was pivotal in solidifying that all of my life experiences have been purposeful to build me for my place in leadership with this movement for Black Trans empowerment. As evident by our growth since the Black Trans Advocacy Conference of 2012, BTAC continues to be the “Mecca” of Black Trans folks, leaving many with a life changing and affirming experience each time. We’re now looking forward to celebrating our 5th Annual Conference with everyone in Dallas, TX, April 25th – May 1, 2016! Please log on to blacktrans.org for FREE registration today! 🙂
3. What is a piece of Black Trans History that you want to make sure others know about and don’t forget? (person, event, cultural development, trend, ___?)
Never forget Black Transmen, Inc. Never forget the Black Transmen that stepped up and stepped out into the open with courage and pride, who said to the world this is who I am and I am worthy of love and respect. Never forget the Black Transmen that encompass the strength and resiliency of our ancestral heritage; Black leaders and nurturers, Black artist, and Black spiritual leaders. The men who’ve so diligently worked to bridge generational gaps, paying homage to those that have paved the way and shining light on the path of those that follow and/or create new paths to propel our community forward. Remember that through Black Transmen Inc so many people are connected worldwide in a positive and empowering way. Remember our legacy as not only a self organized group of Black Transmen taking a stand on the frontline of Black Trans Equality, but also remember what our very identity epitomizes. Black, Trans, Men. We represent both the fabric and the foe of traditional American society. We represent an extraordinary mesh of strength and beauty that transcends the norms and expectations of Black men. We represent courage, endurance, boldness. Remember that our mission and manifest is to “Become the change we want to see in the world.” And I want people to never forget that we stood steadfast in the face of all opposition in the name of love, love for ourselves and each other.
How to connect and learn more about Carter Brown:
Carter Brown, Founder and Executive Director of Black Transmen, Inc.
Black Transmen, Inc.
3530 Forest Lane, Ste. #38,
Dallas, TX 75234
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