Sunday, November 09, 2014

A Deeper Understanding

Have any of you read what Tim Cook the CEO of Apple said when he came out? Boy did that resonate with me…
Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.
This so parallels how I feel, being trans have also given me a deeper understanding of life and coming out has made me a stronger person. It has enriched my life in ways that I never thought possible and lead me to places that I had never dreamed of going.

When I transitioned I learned what male white privilege is and what it is like to lose it. I went from being 50% of the population to 0.5%. I learned what it is like to walk in to a restaurant and have conversation stop and people stare at you. I learned what it is like to sit in a bar and not get waited on. I learned what it feels like to be not welcomed.

Friday I stood up in front of a class and taught them what we face as a community and how coming out has changed my life for the positive. It has changed me from someone whose life took me only five miles from my home, all the people that I knew in my world were either family or I had known since elementary school. Now it encompasses people who make their living off the street all the way up to the governor. I know artists, actors, authors, photographers, and television producers.

Tim Cook wrote,
At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.
For me the help that I do to make this a better world for those trans-people to come is the most rewarding. I was with some friends waiting for our reservations when a woman came up to me and said, “You probably don’t remember me, but you spoke in our class and now I have a client who came out to me as transgender. Because of what you said in class that day I knew how to treat her.”

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