|Known for||Transgender advocacy|
|Home town||Houston, Texas|
Monica Roberts is an African-American blogger, writer, and transgender rights advocate. She is the founding editor of TransGriot, a blog focusing on issues pertaining to transgender women of color.
Roberts began her gender transition in 1993-94. She was working in Houston as an airline gate agent at that time. She had felt since she was five or six that "something was different about me", but didn't have access to black trans role models at that time (the 1970s); she felt that she would have transitioned earlier if she had.
In Louisville, Kentucky, Roberts served on the board of the Fairness Campaign and its political action committee, C-FAIR. In 2005 and 2006, she organized the Transsistahs-Transbrothas Conference that took place in that city. She began writing TransGriot in 2004 as a newspaper column for The Letter, a Louisville-based LGBT paper. (The term "griot" refers to a storyteller from West Africa.)
Roberts founded the TransGriot blog in 2006. Roberts was motivated by a lack of trans blogs focused on blacks and other people of color. One of the missions of her blog is to "chronicle the history of Black transpeople".
As a black trans woman, Roberts has explored the intersections of cissexism and racism in her writing. In a 2009 column, she stated that people who have a problem with the word cisgender "are wailing in unacknowledged cisgender privilege", and compared this criticism to white people that "call me 'racist' anytime I criticize the underlying structural assumptions that buttress whiteness".
Awards and recognition
In 2006, Roberts won the IFGE Trinity Award for meritorious service to the transgender community; it was the transgender community's highest meritorious service award, and she was the first African-American Texan and the third African-American openly trans person to be given the award.
In 2017, Roberts received the HRC John Walzel Equality Award.
- Steve Lee (July 13, 2015). "Monica Roberts recognized as transgender pioneer". San Diego LGBT Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Mari Haywood (February 28, 2013). "Filling a void in the blogsphere: Monica Roberts for Transgriot". GLAAD. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Shaquanda Brown (November 3, 2016). "Monica Roberts: Call of Service Lecture 2016". Phillips Brooks House Association. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Dennis R. Upkins (February 1, 2016). "How Has Transgender Activism Changed in the Past Decade?". Bitch Media. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "TransGriot Monica Roberts On Black Trans History". One+Love. February 20, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Rebekah Barnes (August 10, 2016). "Advocates Janet Mock, Monica Roberts Discuss Gender, Trans Rights". The Chautauquan Daily. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Anne Enke (May 4, 2012). Transfeminist Perspectives in and beyond Transgender and Gender Studies. Temple University Press. p. 211. ISBN 9781439907481. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "2017 Special Guests and Awards". HRC Houston. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
- "TransGriot's Monica Roberts to receive Special Recognition Award at GLAAD Gala San Francisco". GLAAD. September 2, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "10th Annual Robert Coles "Call of Service" Lecture and Award". Phillips Brooks House Association. October 28, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- "8 Houston Women to Watch on Social Media | Houstonia". Houstoniamag.com. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- "GLAAD Media Awards: The Complete List of Winners 2018". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-04-15.