On a friend’s blog there is a question that is asked many times by many people, “How would we evaluate that this organization had reached the same level of inclusiveness for transgender people as it had for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people?” That question is not only asked about trans-people, but also about Jews, Blacks, Latinos and other minorities and the answer is that same.
When you can look at them as friends.
I just completed a class called Human Oppression, and I have some criticisms on the way the class was taught. They taught the history of Black, Latino, women, and LGBT oppression and I think that was the wrong approach. I think that they should have taught less history and more about the causes and effects of oppression. How they have different vectors that leads to oppression and but the results are the same, poverty, unemployment, drug use, suicides, homelessness and low self-esteem. In addition, I think that they should also have taught ways to counter oppression and discrimination.
I believe that the way to counter oppression is integration, when you learn, work and live next to each other; people no long are different, but are friends. You see the person. When you respect each other and threat each other with dignity, you stamp out oppression.
That is one of the reasons why I do outreach, is to put a human face on a trans-people and to tell my story. Our most powerful weapon that we have to fight oppression is our story; we each have our own story to tell of the internal struggle that we fought. Once I was asked how we can fight intolerance and my answer was that all it takes is “Education.”