I’ve been debating what to say for Trans Day of Visibility, because let's be honest, shit is rough for trans folks around the world right now.
Being trans is hard, but that's largely because society, bigotry, gate keeping, and cis silence make it so hard. And it's exhausting and heartbreaking. Especially now. Especially thinking about the kids and other particularly vulnerable folks who are under attack by fear mongering hateful politicians.
Here’s the thing: I love how being trans has changed the way I look at, engage with, and question the world. It's truly a gift unlike any other and I wouldn't trade it for the world. All the bullshit society makes me deal with? I would happily give that up in a heartbeat. But I don’t want to be cis. I don’t want to “pass” (for that matter, how does a non-binary person even “pass”?). I just want to be me and have that be enough for society to respect me.
So, today? I guess today I'm visible for the kid I once was, who didn’t know they were OK. I'm visible for other trans folks who might not know the words or question if they are “enough” (yes, you, you are amazing and enough). I'm visible for myself, today, because I am proud of who I am.
And at the same time, while I think visibility is an important political act, that visibility can help shift things, I'm also tired of being visible for cis people who are silent.
Sure, tell trans people you support them and love them. But do more. Love is an action – you cannot tell someone you love them and then be silent in the face of their oppression. That is not love. Examine your own buried thoughts and feelings that might be harming trans people. Educate yourself. Challenge yourself. And talk to other cis people about their own bias and ignorance. Have hard conversations. Educate people. No amount of trans visibility is going to get enough cis people to shift, to care and to speak up, to stop other cis people from harming trans folks – so, yes, my cis friend, that’s all on you.
Want to take action for trans folks? Check out these folks for more info about what is going on right now and a few ways that you can help:
- Schuyler Bailar (he/him) (@pinkmantaray)
- Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio)
- Raquel Willis (@raquel_willis)
I also recommend these articles:
- Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support
- Trans Visibility Won't Save Us
So, dear cis friend, what are you going to start doing?