Ja’Mel Ware, a transgender, queer man who gave birth to a healthy boy last year, has spoken out about feeling isolated in the LGBTQ+ community. (19thnews.org) Despite being a new father and also transgender, Ware has struggled to find his place in the community. He said, “Every time I walk into a room, I feel alone.” Ware was among a group of eight transgender black men who spoke to The 19th during a Human Rights Campaign Foundation workshop about their experiences in the transgender and LGBTQ+ communities. The group singled out gay cisgender men for being problematic, saying their experience was they often didn’t stand up for them despite also being part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Ware transitioned from female to male at 22 and gave birth to his child in May 2022. He grappled with his identity during his pregnancy, especially living in Georgia. (nypost.com) “It made me question my identity. How does the world now see me? How will they see me? Will they understand who I am?” he said. “Pregnant women are celebrated. Trans people are not.” Ware was featured last year in an AJ+ report about his experiences as a pregnant male living and giving birth in Atlanta.
The group of transgender black men also spoke about their experiences of feeling scrutinized within queer spaces. Alex Santiago said he felt more scrutinized within queer spaces, with men no longer calling him “bro” after finding out he is trans. “That’s a weird space to be in, but it happens more often than not,” he told The 19th. C.J. Moseley echoed Santiago’s thoughts, while D’Jamel Young said they were often perceived as “too masculine to be queer.”
Ware’s experience highlights the need for greater inclusivity and acceptance within the LGBTQ+ community. It is important to remember that the LGBTQ+ community is made up of a diverse range of individuals, each with their own unique experiences and struggles. As a politically mature audience from the USA, we must strive to create a more inclusive and accepting society for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.