Transitioning was the best decision I ever made. I love this body. Transitioning gave me a body I related to. Transitioning gave me comfort in my own skin. Comfort gave me confidence. Transitioning led me to emotional and physical fitness. I am a healthy, grounded, well-rounded person because of my trans experience.
I have no regrets.
I transitioned into the authentic me because I value myself. I couldn’t pretend anymore. I was surviving, now I’m living.
I am visible for those that can’t be. For those that aren’t able or safe to be themselves. I am visible because hate feeds off of fear, and people fear what they don’t know or understand.
I have so, so, so much gratitude for you, my friends and allies. You love and embrace me, as I am. I feel seen and safe with you. Knowing that my community has my back, I’ve been able to be vulnerable and dive into hard conversations headfirst.
I am grateful for this. But my trans experience isn’t the same for every trans person. I have the burden of being trans, but the privilege of being white, christian, middle-class, college-educated, and employed in a full-time job with healthcare and other benefits.
My transition gave me even more privilege. I can tell you first hand that people are treated differently based on their perceived gender, and we all know it’s the same for race, class, etc.
I bring this up because Trans Awareness Week leads into Trans Day of Remembrance – and members of my Community are being murdered just for living as their authentic selves. Trans women of color are being singled out and dying by anti-transgender violence. Twenty two women have been reported so far this year.
It’s easy for the oppressed group of people to speak up, and there’s power in that — but there’s even more power and change when cis, white and hetero allies call out and bring attention to racism and transphobia.
So I urge you every week, but this week and November 20th especially, pay attention to those posts and news stories. When you see their names, think of me. In a different city or a different skin color, that name could be mine. Hate, intolerance and prejudice exists – we all a play a part of changing that narrative.