Friday, April 03, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Green

I always get a kick out of people who say being trans is a choice; oh yes it is so much fun being trans that everyone wants to be trans.
Being transgender in a transphobic society leads to moments of sheer desperation
Mental health interventions are necessary for trans people to stay alive, but there isn’t nearly enough effort to ensure that we have good reasons to live
The Guardian
By Meredith Talusan
April 2, 2015

Imagine that, after having taken the most difficult step of deciding to live as your authentic gender, you find yourself losing the support of family members and friends just as you’re trying to adjust to a new social role. Then you walk out on the street and are discriminated against in various ways, from being referred to as the wrong gender, to being prevented from entering bathrooms or dressing rooms, to being verbally and even physically attacked.

Even if you’re fortunate enough to “pass” so that people can’t tell you’re transgender – which few trans people do early in transition – you must reveal your assigned gender when you present identification, and then deal with people’s often extreme reactions when they feel like you’ve “fooled” them simply for being who you are. If you try to change your name, let alone your gender marker on your ID, you’re told that you can’t do the former without a court order or the latter without surgery. But you can’t have surgery without money, and you don’t have money without family support, especially when people won’t hire you because you’re trans. You can easily find yourself homeless when you have neither a job or a support system, even as the shelter system also discriminates against trans people.

The problems are magnified if you’re a trans person of color, in which case you also often have to deal with greater police scrutiny – trans women are often subject to arrest for soliciting or disorderly conduct simply for expressing their gender (widely known in the community as “walking while trans”). If you’re incarcerated, you can easily end up housed in a prison that doesn’t conform to your gender and placed in solitary confinement for your own “safety”.
You know that moment when they identify you as trans, you can see it in their eyes, you can see it in their expression, you can see that wall go up. You can feel that flight or fight response kicking in; do you dare to make a stand?

He goes on to write,
And all the while, you’re also dealing with your internalized transphobia – all the years that you were taught to believe that there’s something deeply wrong with you simply for being who you are, that you’re unlovable and worthless and your experiences only confirm these internalized beliefs Yes, we are.
For some trans people they say it doesn’t bother them while for others it brings up a feeling of isolation or disgrace. While for other it doesn’t bother them until that one time it catches them off guard.

Whenever I hear this song…
It's not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It's not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean, or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful
And I think it's what I want to be
I want to change the lyrics to It’s not easy being trans.

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