Paying it forward for future generations of trans peopleTrans Progressive Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Commentary: Trans Progressive
Why should I personally go forward as a trans activist pushing for change? Why do anything for trans and LGBT community members when I have received a significant amount of pushback through the years from the religious right, LGBT community members, radical lesbian feminist separatists and even transsexual separatists?
I’ve written in the past about why there is trans activism and what are the major goals of trans activism, but have never really spelled out what motivates me personally.
I began by blogging and archiving LGBT stories for the SD-GLBT and transgendernews Yahoo groups. At the time I was studying for an information systems undergraduate degree – that degree being a feeder degree for a library science graduate degree. Archiving articles that dealt with gay and transgender issues was a way to combine my interests in current events and library work, and combining these with my then recent coming out as trans.
I then began blogging for the Ex Gay Watch back in the mid-2000s, and later for Pam’s House Blend. For me, the blogging at these LGBT blogs was centered on teaching T to L, G, and B community members, since at the time there were no trans bloggers in the most visible LGBT blogosphere. I wanted to highlight commonalities between the trans portion of the LGBT community and other community members.
At Pam’s House Blend, I began being more personal in what I wrote because it dawned on me that many lesbian, gay and bisexual people had never met a transperson in the brick-and-mortar world, so I wanted to humanize T-experience for my peers in the LGBT community
Well, that was how it started. Fairly soon after blogging at Pam’s House Blend, I realized that humanization of trans people and experience was more for me than for my LGB peers. I began thinking in terms of what many of my trans activist peers and I wanted for our next generations of trans community members – to include transsexual adults who would come out needing the means to change their gender identification markers, and that needed antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Then I was confronted with the reality of trans youth. And, I remember being a child that couldn’t put a finger on why I felt different from other children. But now, through therapy, I discovered that I identified more with the little blond girl Susan than the little boy Tom in those old elementary school Ginn Basic Readers of the 1950s and ’60s. I also realized that one of my motivations for activism was found in earnestly desiring to create a better, loving world for trans youth.
My community’s children, as well as my community’s next generations, are great, precious gifts to the world, and I prefer to give them hope and not hopelessness.
In small part, I’ve worked to give them tools to live their lives in such a way that they may never waste what little time they have; to be able to legally establish their gender identities and more easily obtain housing and employment.
There are always going to be people who are going to see my life, and the lives of other trans people as lies; yet I see my life as an opportunity to pay forward love and hope to a community that I love.
Any action I might take that may help even one other trans person see and live in hope that the world will recognize them for the boys, girls, men, women and genderqueer people they know themselves to be, then my actions in my brief moments here on earth will have been more than worth it.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=37318