I’ve had a hard time this past week with a lot of things because of the actions this administration is taking to erase transgender people from politics and to take away the rare few civil rights we thought we might have. My patience is threadbare, and my empathy for cisgender folks is low.
Not sure how you, a cis person, should be responding to the administration’s attacks on transgender folks this week? Here are some tips:
Don’t be silent.
I get it, you’re overwhelmed and you don’t know what to do. The bare minimum thing you can do is to make some noise. Be vocal, everywhere in your life, about what is happening and your support for trans folks. Post on social media. Wear a t-shirt supporting trans folks. Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, and fucking strangers about what is going on. Be loud about donating to trans organizations and encourage others to do the same. Silence is complicity with what is happening, and silence can signal you don’t care to trans folks.
Don’t diminish the feelings that trans people are grappling with right now.
I can only speak for myself, but I’m scared and angry. Not just for myself, but for all the people this impacts. And especially for the trans kids out there in states where they will not be protected, but instead persecuted. Suicide rates are already exceptionally high among trans folks. And I’m angry about the silence and what feels like apathy from cisgender folks, as well as the centering of cisgender folks when I try to talk about why I’m scared or angry. Don’t take that away from me right now. Don’t try to justify it or, honestly, even soothe it. Don’t try to relate to it, because you can’t. Let me feel the rage and fear I need to feel right now, and let me feel justified in that, because unless you are trans? You don’t get it.
Don’t ask trans folks to educate you.
You can fucking Google. You can educate yourself. There are plenty of resources, and asking a trans person to tell you what you should do right now is even more unfair than usual.
Don’t make this attack on trans folks about you.
Yes this administration fucking sucks. There are fresh horrors on a daily basis. It is overwhelming for fucking anyone with a heart and brain. But if you’re part of a group experiencing a targeted attack or series of attacks under this administration, that is a very different experience. You feeling overwhelmed is not the same as my civil rights being stripped away and erased.