Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stop Looking At Being Trans As A Curse

One of the memes I get tired of seeing and hearing is transpeople calling being trans a curse. That's problematic right there and plays into the shame and guilt issues about trans people being part of the diverse mosaic of human life. 

I look at being trans as a blessing, not a curse.

You think I wouldn't have loved to have been female from birth? Yes. Am I envious of younglings like Kim Petras and Jazz who either got to or are growing up as girls and have loving parents who helped them do so? Yes.  You think I wouldn't love to go through a day without hearing about a transperson being disrespected or killed somewhere on the planet?  Yes.   You don't think that some days I would love to just be another 6'2" statuesque Black woman on the planet blithely going about her day and not having to constantly do hard solid thinking about her own and everybody else's gender identity and civil rights? 

But at the same time I realize that if I'd been born female from Day One I'd be missing out on this amazing life I have now.

I have this blog.  I get to interface on a regular basis with academics, politicians, thought leaders, college students, activists and amazing allies. 

The people who I call my friends I have no doubts they will have my back when I need it because all the poseurs, psuedo-friends and associates bounced when I transitioned   I have the knowledge of what it's actually like to live on the other side of the gender fence, an international network of friends thanks to over a decade of fighting for trans human rights and the blessing of getting to know some amazing people in the trans community

And how many people cis or trans can say they actually lobbied their congressmembers?

Frederick Douglass wrote in North American Review in 1881 that "Neither we, nor any other people will ever be respected till we respect ourselves and we will never respect ourselves till we have the means to live respectfully." 

In a nutshell, we transpeople not only have to get busy loving ourselves and keep working 24/7/365 (366 in a leap year) at it, we must work just as diligently to create the positive conditions in our lives so that we have the means to live respectfully .  

That means we must challenge the meme that being trans is a curse and root it out of our community.   We must fight tooth and nail to obtain trans human rights and fight even harder once they are achieved to zealously defend and expand them. 

We must emphasize self-love over self-hatred and constantly strive to live quality lives.  If that means surrounding yourself with people who role model that behavior on a consistent basis so that you can overcome the shame and guilt issues, by all means do so.
It's past time that transpeople stop viewing being us as a curse.  If we want people to love and respect us, it may sound simplistic, but we have to start first with loving and respecting ourselves.

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