“It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible ina world that tells us to be invisible.”
– Laverne Cox
This is (sort of) a rant.
of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
You would be surprised at how many people don’t actually know what transgender actually means, yet still feel inclined to comment, bash, and do whatever else it is that stupid people do. So I wanted to get that cleared up before we went any further.
If I had to describe the environment around me and how it felt about the trans community with one word, it would probably be “confused.” If I were going to be completely real about it, I would say “quietly hostile.” It never ceases to amaze me that people can get upset and be filled with such hate and ignorance stemming from someone minding their business, loving themselves, and being THEM. When the word transgender is even brought up, I can literally see the disgust on their faces. And while it boggles me why it’s there, a connection is made. Transgender deaths happen quite frequently, yet not many of them are reported. It is both disgusting and scary that someone’s life can be seen as so unimportant that a notice of death isn’t even granted. Is the thought of a trans person that uncomfortable, that disgusting (to.you.) that it’s not even worthy of being talked about? Especially when the killer isn’t apparent? You only want justice for the people that don’t “gross” you out or the ones that you can understand? If you apply to any of those questions, let me just say you are a part of the problem in general, not just in this case. At the end of the day, hate crimes – yes, trans deaths are often hate crimes – should be investigated and made aware to the public just like any other type of hate crime and any other kind of death. Regardless of what you think you know and don’t know, understand and (ignorantly) don’t understand, trans men and women are PEOPLE. They were somebodies to someone and their deaths don’t deserve to go unnoticed. Plain and simple. I wanted to start off with this because recently several trans women have died in the south and I just couldn’t sit and not say anything. That really inspired me to write this entire post.
Trans men and women are some of the strongest and bravest individuals on this earth. And as a gay black man, I look to trans women such as Laverne Cox for pick-me-ups when I’m feeling defeated. I haven’t always been perfect, though. I’ve said some offensive things (I used to use the word “tranny” as a joke), but thankfully, I had people around me that educated me and showed me how and why that is offensive. I learned. I get it. You’re not well-versed in this stuff. That’s okay. But you need to be willing to learn, and to be able to do that, you have to shut the hell up and listen. In this case, that would mean listening to trans people explained. Trans people aren’t freaks. They’re human beings (just like you and me) who decided to go get their freedom. They are just as deserving of love and respect as the next person. They deserve all rights and privileges that the rest of us have, including having the right to go to the bathroom that coordinates with their identity. I was almost shocked when I heard the baseless, childish comments from supposed adults taking offense to trans people using the bathroom that aligns with them.
“That’s just a man trying to see my vagina.” – How old are you? 12? No one wants to see that.
“I don’t need some freak standing beside me while I pee.” – Most likely, a man that can’t even aim when he pisses said this. You have bigger things to worry about (pun intended) than sharing a bathroom with a trans person.
I truly hate what trans people have to experience. As a member of the LGBT community, I also feel like the “T” doesn’t get the attention, respect, or praise it deserves. Yes, it is hard being gay (and black) in America. But I know for me, personally, I’m not sure many of my family members would be open to even communicating with me if I were trans. They’ve never been shy about their feelings towards transgender people. Shall we go down the line? Oh yes!:
“Sick puppies (read: “mentally crazy” and “unstable).”
“Their father should have been in their life.”
“I don’t want my kids thinking that shit is right or okay.”
I’m sure you’ve heard the same. And I’ll admit, I didn’t always do the right thing and call them out on it. I was young and really didn’t know much about the whole topic. But time and research changed all of that. When you are around me, you WILL address transgender people with the respect they deserve. No calling them foul names, wanting to intentionally hurt them, calling them any name other than the one they prefer to be called, etc. Do unto others as you would want done to you. And this whole notion that transgender women are not women is crazy to me. It’s not really up for discussion, because we can’t determine that. (At this point, the Aquarian in me could really go off the grid and go into how we all may be gender-less. But not today, maybe in another post.) When it comes to identity, that’s up to them and only them. Just like the rest of of us. Mind your business, girlies.
What I’m trying to say in this post as I’ve been saying for years now: Respect people and respect their space. That’s not something for you to intrude on. I feel like when it’s not us, we don’t have a problem. We do what we want to do because it makes us happy, and we expect no one to say a damn thing about it, because it’s not their place. I wish those same people would extend that to transgender people. You may be able to wrap your head around it, or you might not. But respect them. Treat them just as you would treat a straight, gender-conforming person. Often times there are children watching everything that you do, and eventually they begin mimicking what you do. If you’re hostile to minorities, they will be the same. They think it’s okay. They think it’s right because they see you do it, and they’ve seen you do it several times. That’s how racism has lasted so long. It’s still filtering itself in this generation. It starts at home. Raise your kids to love and respect those who don’t look, sound, or act like them. Show them that there is beauty and strength in diversity. It’s not a threat to them and their future, or their way of life. This is so important when it comes repairing this cold and dead world.
I want to finish this post by saying this to anyone who identifies as Transgender:
I LOVE YOU!
You are beautiful
You are special
You are worthy of love and respect
You are necessary, despite what this world says
You will always have a friend, advocate, ally, and whatever else it is you need in me.
#ICYMI: Trans is beautiful. Plain and simple. Know and understand that the author of this post supports and loves anyone that is trans. I also support the protection of trans kids and adults, and I hope you feel the same.
In the words of the legendary Miranda Priestly: