Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Now Class! Class!

Most people do not know anything about us. “You are transgender? So you’re gay?”

That is what most people think that trans = gay and they don’t even have the slightest knowledge about trans men.
Does the public need more time to learn about transgender people?
Gender Analysis
By Zinnia Jones
Posted on May 27, 2017

By 1933, so much knowledge about transgender people had already been accumulated at the library of Germany’s Institute for Sexual Science, the Nazi party chose to burn it all in front of a crowd of thousands. This happened 12 years before the advent of nuclear weapons.
[…]
Trans people have been around for longer than your grandparents, yet it seems like we’re still waiting for much of the population to get their act together. I’ve been explaining trans issues nonstop since I came out five years ago. Contrary to Time magazine’s 2014 proclamation of a “transgender tipping point” of public understanding and acceptance, I now receive more comments than ever from people who seem to think I expect too much from my audience. “Being trans is still very new to a lot of people,” I’m told. “You need to be patient and give them time to learn.”
Well OK, I’ll give them time to learn if they stop trying to pass draconian laws against us while they are learning.
We know that there is a learning curve, which is why trans people have been working for decades to make educational materials available to the public. So I don’t think that’s really the problem here. Instead, it’s usually the case that when I’m told the public “needs more time to learn about trans people”, this is in response to some very serious issues I’ve been covering. When I discuss the damage of family rejection, the dangerous atmosphere of political persecution, the harmful myths that threaten our access to medical care, or the consequences to our lives when we’re banned from using the bathroom, the protest of “people need more time to learn” is deployed as some kind of excuse for these behaviors.
The best learning tool is us. When we are out an about, just by being ourselves and going about our daily lives we are making a difference.

Onetime when I was an intern at a LGBT family and youth service agency I staffed a table at a wellness conference that is sponsored by the local NBC station. I was amazed at how many people didn’t know what LGBT stood for, it only took me a short time to start saying “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender family and youth service agency” and it was the children who told their parents what “LGBT” meant. It was the children who knew all about trans.

Harvey Milk was right when he said,
Gay brothers and sisters,... You must come out. Come out... to your parents... I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives... come out to your friends... if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors... to your fellow workers... to the people who work where you eat and shop... come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.
But I would change it to…
Trans brothers and sisters,... You must come out. Come out... to your parents... I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives... come out to your friends... if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors... to your fellow workers... to the people who work where you eat and shop... come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by Donald Trump.”

1 comment:

FABULOUSCONNIEDEE said...

Most of us (M2F, especially) can't not come out to everyone else. Our physical presence often says more than any words of coming out could. We really owe nobody excuses or explanation for ourselves, but it could be important for certain of our relationships to do so (explain, but not excuse). As for the rest of the people, I may not be able to escape being read as gender variant, and the only way I may be seen favorably is to conduct myself as a decent human being.

If Trump can rearrange what hair he has on his head to cover his bald spot without fear, I certainly should be able to present myself any way I wish, as well. Plus, I am conducting myself as a decent human being. :-)