We transwomen on a daily basis face so many serious issues and threats to our simple right to exist. We have people that fear us, that refuse to understand what we deal with in our lives, hate us to the point that they want to kill us, keep us unemployed, or even deny us the opportunity to go to the gender appropriate bathroom.
But just as my peeps have learned over the centuries to take dire situations and turn them into humor, transwomen for the sake of our own sanity either have or will need to learn how to do the same thing.
Like the Playboy transgender themed cartoons that are part of this post, while they are examples of some serious moments in transgender people's lives, I look at them and take a moment to chuckle. It helps remind me to stand down just for a few moments from the Defcon 1 life-or-death game face I have to put on sometimes just to live my life in a world that can be hostile to transgender people.
At times I think back to some of the more embarrassing moments I went through early in my transition that make me laugh now, but were mortifying events at the time they happened. I forgot to lock the bathroom door while non revving home during a 1999 San Francisco-Houston flight and fortunately I was in a sitting position when the door popped open. I got teased about it at work for a month and Lisa Bronte, the first class flight attendant who witnessed it, needled me about it for a year.
I take time to find humor in my situation and allow it into my life because even though I'm committed to seeing transgender rights laws become a reality and do my small part to make it happen, it can be depression inducing and frustrating work. But even out of some of those journeys to lobby have come humorous moments that I treasure to this day.
There have been times when I've gone to conventions and been one of the few African-Americans in the room, but have observed or experienced things that made me double over in laughter.
I still have fond memories of the first time I showed up at a planning meeting for my 20th high school reunion. While some of my high school classmates had heard I'd transitioned, others hadn't. The joke I cracked for the next year and a half leading up to that October 2000 reunion weekend was, "Well, we know who has a lock on the 'Most Changed Award' for this reunion."
I know we are tackling some serious and seemingly intractable problems, especially as transpeople of color. But just as we need to stop, take a look around and thank God for the blessings that we have in our lives such as good friends, good health and allies who get it, we should at the same time try to find ways to inject more humor in our lives as well.
TransGriot Note: cartoons were transgender themed recaptions by Lorna Samuels