Philly Trans health conference

Reflections on Trans Health 2014

Pride Center Staff Photo

 

 

   #bishopmakalani-mahee
   Philly the City of Trans Love
   Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee

 

 

 

Health begins with wellness, and out of wellness comes wholeness defined as containing all components; not divided or dis-joined.  The Trans community is reaching out for visibility, community, and health.  I found this posting on my friend Jay’s Facebook post, it read “I really can’t figure out the words to describe how I feel after attending PTHC (Philly Trans Health Conference)”; he then went on to post “for a guy who was told a couple of years ago (by my Mother, no less) that by transitioning I was limiting myself to a life without friends or the possibility of love.  I feel amazingly loved, supported, happy, and blessed.  I am proud and humbled to be a part of the trans community”.  After reading this I thought to myself that Jay had beautiful and succinctly articulated the joy and withdrawal we were all feeling leaving PTHC; while reminding us that today we live so far outside of the shadows of the gloomy past of stealth living not as a joy of passing, but as a necessity for survival.

We have moved from the unhealthy darkness of shame and secrecy that trans people take to graves to the ability to show up in the world in the light of our truths and share access to life saving medical services so that trans children like 13 Jazz can live their lives as trans fuller and earlier.  I think about Billy Tipton the noted jazz musician who died an old man in a trailer refusing to see a Doctor, and I think of Robert Eads an out trans-man diagnosed with ovarian cancer who in 1996 could not find a physician that would treat him and I know that we have moved a long way to building a healthier trans community.  Likewise I know that due to  hate violence, addiction, HIV, and barriers to  accessing  medical care the average life span for a trans woman of color is 35 years of age; which is a stark reminder of how much more healthier we need our community to be.

As I reflect on what I will carry with me from PTHC it is the realization that I have brothers, sisters, advocates, and allies; and that you can find community when you push through the fear of the lie so many of us were told of having to live our lives in the shame of secrecy or as lepers if we dared to live as our authentic selves.

For a guy who was told a couple of years ago (by my mother, no less) that by transitioning I was limiting myself to a life without friends or the possibility of love, I feel amazingly loved, supported, happy, and blessed. I am proud and humbled to be a part of the trans* community.For a guy who was told a couple of years ago (by my mother, no less) that by transitioning I was limiting myself to a life without friends or the possibility of love, I feel amazingly loved, supported, happy, and blessed. I am proud and humbled to be a part of the trans* community.

 

Continue To Walk In The Light, Redefine Your Faith, and Remember It’s All The Rhythm.

Conferences · Feature · Philly Trans health conference

Revolutionary: Asking the Hard Questions

Pride Center Staff Photo

 

 

Bishop S.F. Makalani-Mahee

Minister. Performing Artist. Community Organizer

 

 

 

One of the blessings I receive from attending conferences such as Philly Trans Health is the intentional creation of space for dialogue, dialogue  that not shares experience, strength, and hope; but dialogue that challenges our thoughts, assumptions, and bias.  Here the keynotes addresses serve as family gathering/meeting where we affirm one another and remind each other we are not alone; discuss how to function more healthily as a family, and we can hold  each other accountable in love.

I was sitting in a workshop where a trans woman of color was cautioning us to have the conversations that shines a light on our shame so that our youth know we haven’t always been who we are today, and there were times when we made choices (for whatever the reason maybe) that we were not always proud of.  However, we realize that we don’t have to carry the shame of those choices with us for the rest of our lives.   When we engage each other in conversations, and ask each other the hard questions we create a space of truth, trust, respect, and non-judgment.

I left that session asking myself  “Where am I not being honest, about owning my own shame based experiences?” This was a hard question that I would not have been able to ask myself had there not been the intentional creation of the space to have conversations that ask the hard questions, and the strength, boldness, and courage of people to show up and share their shame  spoken in truth that becomes warrior marks and the bridges to our destiny.

I also feel that these conversations and asking the hard questions provide a lifeline for those of us who live in places where there is not large trans communities, or visible people of color communities, or resources for them; and as such there is not an ongoing dialogue that addresses living in a world impacted by micro-aggression, and confronting an oppressive white supremacist –capitalist-patriarchy that doesn’t want us to engage with or empower each other; which really makes me think that having conversation and asking the hard questions may be one of the most revolutionary things we can do.

 

Continue To Walk In The Light, Redefine Your Faith, and Remember It’s All The Rhythm.

 

 

Conferences · Philly Trans health conference · social media · Staff/Program Updates

Philly the City of Trans Love

Pride Center Staff Photo
 
 
#bishopmakalani-mahee
Philly the City of Trans Love
Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee

 

 

 

The moment I got off the plane I felt it.   While I was waiting for the shuttle bus to take me to my hotel in downtown Philly another transman just looks at me and extends a brotherly greeting , and we end up on the same shuttle bus sharing and laughing the whole ride into the city.   This is the start of trans wholeness and wellness the ability to search each other out, recognize each other, and to be willing to extend ourselves to one another.

Walking through the doors of Philly Trans Health Conference all you could feel is the energy of connection, and more importantly the empowerment  of possibilities that comes from our  interconnectedness.  What I am seeing here at Philly Trans Health is a sea of recruits enlisting in an army for social justice daring to explore the possibilities of being conscious objectors to assigned gender conformity.

This City has long been known amongst African-Americans as “The City of Brotherly Love”, but from the second I got off the plane and connected with my trans brother all I have been feeling is the trans love in the City.  A love that sees, values, affirms, and yes even trans-forms every individual here. Because of the love in this place those who have been invisible become visible, and those who have been silenced find their voice; our nurtures /wise women in the room sound the trumpet and #JusticeForJane  is our call to action

From this birth place of independence we dare to affirm ourselves and each other, and vision a state of being that experiences more struggle for the generations to come after us because we will have created a world where human beings will truly be judged by the content of their character and they will not know a world of gender restriction.  Just as the gathering in this city liberated a country, and changed the world the demand for representation and equality for all citizens is as loud today as it was then; and our boldness will once again change the world.

Continue To Walk In The Light, Redefine Your Faith, and Remember It’s All The Rhythm.

#lgbt hlth equity  #philly trans health

 

Conferences · Philly Trans health conference · Pride · Staff/Program Updates · Updates

Welcome to our new guest blogger, reporting from Philly Trans Health Conference

We are so excited to introduce Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee as our newest guest blogger! Bishop S.F. will be blogging from the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, so stay tuned!

Bishop S.F. Makalani-MaHee is a Minister/Performing Artist/Community Organizer, and is also the Founder/Chair for Black Gay Pride South Florida. Bishop is currently enjoying devolving his solo show “Bustin’ Hell Wide Open” in which he explores his experiences growing up in the Pentecostal Black Church and the projects of the Bronx and coming out as same gender loving in those environments; and now living as a transgender man.  He makes his home in the South Florida area.

Follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/TheBishopTweets

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