Monday, March 28, 2011

If We Can't Be Proud Of Who We Are, Why Should Anyone Else Be?

I've talked about the ongoing struggle that many people have in the trans community with overcoming the shame and guilt issues that plague us.

Time and time again I see those shame and guilt issues manifest themselves in internalized transphobia, timidity in terms of fighting and calling out people who oppress us, and the lack of pride in being trans men and women.

One of the things I was most happy about is I had trans mentors who were proud of being trans people, and wouldn't let us think of ourselves as less than human.   Then again, me being African American and having parents and grandparents that also drilled that same message into me and my siblings early in life also was a big help in terms of building the healthy self esteem that I've needed to call on at times as I deal with the transphobia hurled at me

But it is past time to deal with the shame and guilt issues in this community.   Shame and guilt issues are one of the major factors holding back our progress and our pressing need to build a cohesive community. 

George Bernard Shaw once said, “We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinion, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.”  

What's real about us is that we are trans men and women.   There is nothing shameful about that.  We need to boldly own it and tell people who have a problem with us to go to Hades.   

We are part of the diverse mosaic of human life.   If we can't be proud of being who we are as trans men and women, why should anyone else in our circles be?

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