Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

As transpeople we get buffered and whacked on a daily basis with so much negativity from people inside and outside our community. Some of that negativity hurled our way by our detractors is so insidious in nature we're not aware of it.

During the recent panel discussion I took part in at U of L during TDOR week, I had a ciswoman I was talking to after it was over about various subjects.

At one point in our conversation she switched subjects to ask me why wasn't I looking her directly in her eyes. The question caught me off guard for a moment, then she explained that she had the same problem and had to work on it as well, which is why she noticed it.

She went on to compliment me for being on point in the discussion, looking fly while doing so, and tell me about her struggle to get comfortable with her body and loving the sistah she's become after 41 years.

On the bus ride home the conversation triggered some hard solid thinking about some of the stuff I'd internalized and resolving to do a even better job of practicing what I preach.

The conversation reminded me of a quote from former First Lady and civil rights warrior Eleanor Roosevelt.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

Fighting those negative feelings is a 24-7-365 job (366 in a leap year). While all transpeople fight to stay grounded in spiritual positivity, for a transperson of color that can be a struggle at times.

Our self-esteem also gets additional daily assaults from the racism we have to deal with just maneuvering through life as a person of color and the internal transphobia within our communities of color.

We all knew when we began transition that our road to femininity was going to be a rough, pothole filled one at times. Ciswomen, as my friends have pointed out have to deal with crap as well on their feminine journeys, too.

We have nothing to be ashamed of because we are part of the wonderful mosaic of life and are wonderfully made in the Creator's image.

I take great pride in being a role model for this community and being the Phenomenal Transwoman I am. But even I fight on an almost daily basis to not let the negativity overwhelm me and get rid of the internalized baggage I'm aware of.

Yes, you have the power within yourselves to go through life and live it abundantly. Being trans is not an impediment to that.

And neither should we allow anyone to make us feel inferior without our consent.

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