Heya folks! Happy Transgender Day of Visibility!
For myself, this day always sparks a degree of conflicted feelings. I wrote about my position on this in a post last June. Check that out if you’d like to know a bit more about me. In short, I don’t like to make a fuss about being trans, aside from the occasional political remarks. I prefer people to just take me as I am.
But the TDOV is a reminder that sometimes we have to stand up and show people that we do exist and that our struggles are real, even if you don’t see them everyday. The theme this year is Resistance, and it’s not hard to see why. This election cycle has seen a huge uprising by many conservatives who feel disenfranchised and forgotten. Taking advantage of this movement, many right wing activists have moved into positions of power, using their influence to impose their extreme ideology on a fractured and vulnerable citizenry.
Many have stood up to oppose this new agenda. Rallies, fundraisers, and legal battles for LGBT rights abound all across the country. In my own state, a thinly-veiled attack on trans’ ability to amend our birth certificates was killed in committee, showing that common sense still exists in some areas of government.
But on other, far more public fronts, attacks by extreme conservative groups have shown that fear, misinformation, and a dose of bigotry can still sway the legislative process. Most notably, in recent days was North Carolina’s HB 142. Proving House Speaker Paul Ryan’s assertion that “compromise isn’t the conservative way”, the Republican legislature basically “repealed” a law by simply re-wording it, forcing the “deal” on a weak democratic governor who’s excuse for signing it was that “it was the best we could get.” Seems he could have learned a thing or two from the members of the Freedom Caucus, who, despite questionable motives, at least stuck to their guns. You don’t win a war by compromising with and uncompromising enemy.
So NC keeps its discrimination friendly legal code while punting the issue to a Federal establishment that had only weeks ago tossed that very responsibility back to them by executive order. An administration, by the way, who put an anti-LGBT activist in charge of the HHS Civil Rights division, after pandering to us in rallies. Allies? Sure. 😦 So while activist on both sides chase this hot potato back and forth through courts both high and low, many of us remain in a legal limbo.
Let me be clear. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by allies, mostly cis, who didn’t bat an eye when I came out years ago. Even those who may not approve have kept to themselves about it. The type of hate and vitriol that we see in the media has not been my personal experience. It is for this reason that I usually stay silent, for I don’t want to create waves where there are none. But the forces on the opposing side are on the march and do not seem content to live and let live. Hiding in the trenches won’t save you if the enemy overruns your position.
We live in chaotic times. Fear and uncertainty have become the unfortunate norm. I get that. But we cannot allow that to erode basic human compassion. Only together can we make things better, and this constant class, gender, religious, and racial warfare is tearing us apart. This is where the enemy wants us, and they are closer than many imagine. Stay vigilant. Stay informed. Be involved, if you can.
In closing, I want to thank you all for your support. I love you folks, no matter who you are, how you identify, what beliefs you have, or where you’re from. Take care, fellow humans. See you on the battlefield. 🙂