Sometimes the universe unfolds and gives us a gift. It opens up and shows us that it is not always needlessly cold and cruel, and that there are voices out there that call out to us in the dark. Sometimes those voices come from the most unexpected of places. Such is the case with young Sadie.
It is a bit disappointing that on Martin Luther King day, of all days, when he was sworn in, the President would give in to the radical right and leave out his trans* brothers and sisters. I know what a great many of his supporters would say. “Be patient.” “He has to make concessions.” “He can’t offend them.” “It was a big deal that he mentioned Stonewall in his speech.”
You are absolutely right that it was a big deal that he mentioned Stonewall, and the rights of gay Americans, in his speech, which makes it that much more frustrating and ironic. The driving force behind Stonewall was trans* women of color. Since then trans* folk in general (and those of color in particular) have been forced into the background of a movement they started. When you say we need to be patient you forget how very long we have been. You also forget the words of the man whose accomplishments and life are honored on that day: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”
I have to be honest, I am a little ashamed that an 11-year-old girl commented on this before I have. We face so much fear, hate, and misunderstanding and it is made so much worse when you don’t even see us. How can you not bump into and hurt something you don’t even know is there?
Sadie knows this, we all know this, and she and the rest of us want you to know it as well. We cannot let anyone, our friends, family, neighbors, co workers and especially not the President erase us anymore. We cannot let them turn a blind eye as we are bullied out of public spaces and face real danger just for being. We cannot allow our elected officials, especially those that claim to be allies, to remain silent while we cannot receive the care we need and while we are still discriminated against in the workplace. We cannot be invisible boys and girls anymore.