So today was the first time I went to a TDoR event. It was humbling. I’m painfully aware that I will be limited in the amount of discrimination, hatred and other spiteful things that society will heap on other trans individuals, particularly those who are POC. I know I’m privileged and will be doted on, given rights where I didn’t earn them and granted leeway where it’s not needed. And it’s frustrating.
I don’t like seeing others dying.
They shouldn’t have to suffer because they do the same thing I do (albeit for different reasons and experiences).
No one should be denied the right to be themselves, support themselves and get help.
We should never ignore the lives that came before and the injustice of them no longer being here. I do believe that we need to stand up and move things forward that have to be moved forward, regardless of whether organizations like HRC (or others) will. As I’ve said before, I want to make a difference. I want to help those that identify as trans (and even those that have transitioned but do not claim trans) be protected, have rights to work without harassment, exist without harassment and health care with respect.
But today wasn’t just about those lives lost but the lives yet to be lived. We need to remember, for sure, but we also need to encourage and provide safe havens for those that are just finding their way or have yet to. And we have to recognize that racism is entrenched heavily in this, as is class, privilege, education level, etc. There are so many isms it’s not funny. In a discussion I started earlier about Duanna Johnson on a forum I got the impression (perhaps a misinterpretation on my part) that I was late to the table, that because of white privilege I have no right to say anything and that I shouldn’t try to make a difference.
If anything it made me want to. I’m still formulating ideas of the hows and whys. I’m not interested in waiting for all the hub-bub over Prop 8 to be resolved before trans issues become issues. When I do research to see what’s out there I run into organizations that are specific for activity (e.g., education in schools); specific for location (e.g., state level); or more of a representative organization (e.g., help trans individuals with legal advice, help, etc.). It is not to say that these organizations aren’t important. They are HUGELY critical and important but there needs to be more of a unified voice or voices for trans individuals. Yes, the history behind those voices are different (from POC to white, MTF to FTM) but none have preference over others since all can be discriminated against and violated.
All trans individuals need:
– the right to exist in the gender of choice (how ever that “choice” came about)
– the right to exist in stealth
– the right to custody of kids regardless of gender transitioning
– the right to health care, both in availability and in respectibility
– protection against discrimination (i.e., work, financial institutions, educational institutions, governmental institutions, etc.) and the recognition of transphobia and crimes against trans persons as being a hate crime in addition to other hate crimes
– the right to marriage to a partner as the gender of choice
– the ability to change gender markers easier and without requirements of ALL surgeries (which is often fiscally impossible)
Yes, I haven’t faced any of that yet and may never face it. Although I’m bracing myself for a potential problem as my face has already changed far more significantly than I realized in comparison to my passport photo from earlier this year. That doesn’t mean I will ignore what happens to others. Certainly I could sit back and wait but I don’t know if that really helps. To me, it hinders more than anything. And to get real change we have to be forceful and in people’s faces. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong by wanting to be proactive, making a difference and such but I’d rather be wrong trying than be wrong and not doing anything.
Anyways, I’m still trying to figure out what I can do with what resources I have. I think there is something, I just need to figure out what exactly that is.