Oct 16, 2016
I think it is amazing how life turns out. I say amazing and some of you might be thinking "Uh, no. Not the word I would use." Well, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines amazing as "causing great surprise or wonder," and I can't think of a better way to describe the changes in my life since becoming the parent of a man who is transgender.
Take last weekend for example. I was invited to a Baltimore-area event called "Black Trans Men's Advocacy Summit." On the surface, this is not amazing. But I am not black, nor am I a man, nor am I transgender. So it amazed ME (and probably some of the other participants) that I attended this extremely wonderful event! Outside my comfort zone. In Baltimore (where I hate to drive). It was raining outside.
In my many years on planet Earth, this was not in my life plan. It was an amazing addition.
I met wonderful people. I have no idea who was transgender and who was not, and it didn't matter. Some folks identified themselves, and we all identified our preferred pronouns on our nametags. For purposes of confidentiality, you had to add a green sticker if it was "okay" for the group to use your photo on their webpage.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because it is imperitive that we not stick our necks in the sand when it comes to human beings. As parents and family members of transgender people, we can become content to just "deal within our own family" and not make a stand outside that family. Or maybe we "don't talk about it" at our book club, or at work, or at church (heaven forbid!). Here's the problem - and I understand that if you are new to having someone in your family who is LGBTQI or other, you may not be at this point yet - we must care for everyone who is treated unfairly.
There are many trans people killed every year. In fact, according to Human Rights Watch, 19 have been killed already this year (2016). Transwomen of color are especially targeted. Click here to read their names and see their pictures.
While it is certainly easier to just deal with our own personal issues, being transgender can be an uphill battle and if the people we love are going to win, we have to help.
Don't be afraid what other people will think of you if you embrace the fight. Because what you are embracing is the truth that everyone deserves to be treated equally and with respect.
Wouldn't that be amazing?
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