Been away a bit. The universe hands us our challenges and some times we are better at coping with them than others. I have not been very good at it lately. I have not been horrible about it, mind you, but stress, and depression, and so much more (really, why do we have wisdom teeth?) have kept me from living up to my potential lately. Once in a while we need to really get dragged through the mud and the blood to really appreciate what we have, and what we can do. The past few days, while hard, have reminded me of that.
For those of you not in Rochester or following trans* issues, local radio personalities Kimberly and Beck were called to task for making horrible, transphobic comments in a discussion involving expanding the city’s public employees’ health care to include trans* health issues. The comments, some of them making light of the mental health issues most of us in the community face, were very triggering, but not half so triggering as those made by their supporters.
Suddenly I felt like I was surrounded by cries of “straight pride” and accusations of asking for “special rights.” I shared, for the first time publicly, my ugly past with transantagonism. One night while waiting for friends in a bar in Rochester I “overheard” (in scare quotes because I am pretty sure my attention was expected) a young man tell his friends “maybe if we fucked IT in the ass, IT would know whether or not IT wants to be a woman.” I never shared that before. I did not want to worry my family, and frankly, I don’t like reliving it, it was horrifying. I did so, however because one apologist for K + B mentioned how “scary” our decent into PC hell was, as if he had any idea what scary was.
We don’t want special rights, we want to be treated like human beings. We want people to think before they spout over the air waves ideas that diminish us and makes it easy for people to dismiss us outright. We want to stop a narrative that makes it less of a crime if we are murdered. We want to end discussions that end with people believing we are all sex workers (not that being one is something to be ashamed of, but considering the legal consequences in our freakishly puritanical culture, a dangerous assumption to have made about you.)
I needed this. I needed to get punched in the face by these jerks. I have been sleep walking the last few weeks, and it woke me up. Now I am angry, not for me, but for those trans* folk who do not have the awesome support network I do. I am fired up and ready to get writing again. There is so much hurt out there, so many willing to hurt people simply because they can, but there are good people out there too. I need to remember that, and take heart and take action. I need to keep sharing, moving, and fighting. I should send Kimberly and Beck a thank you note. Or maybe this is it.