“What challenges us is to ensure that none should enjoy lesser rights and none tormented because they are born different, hold contrary political views, or pray to God in a different manner.” Former South African president Nelson Mandela
We have misguided people inside and outside our community who believe the opposite of what Mandela expressed and that is the challenge we transpeople face as we enter the second week of 2012 and beyond.
We must permanently erase the perception amongst cis people that transpeople should settle for lesser rights than other human beings on this planet and be grateful for it.
Not no but hell no will I nor any other transperson be satisfied with anything less than the same first class human rights you demand for yourselves.
Cis people believe that we should have lesser rights than they do for various reasons. These people think it’s okay for transpeople to be tormented because we are born different. They think we should be satisfied with unjust laws or civil rights crumbs because we hold the contrarian political view that trans people deserve the same first class citizenship and human rights coverage they enjoy.
They also think that we should share the same religious beliefs they do that being trans is something to be ashamed of.
Umm, no it isn’t.
The Challenge for you cis people who think that way and hate on trans people from whatever specious reason is for you to join us in the 21st century and get over yourselves. Trans people exist as part of the diverse mosaic of human life and we aren’t going anywhere. It’s past time for you to grasp that reality.
Some of you never will, but that’s not our problem. That’s yours to deal with and resistance to dealing with it is futile in that regard. The arc of the moral universe is on our side and it’s already starting to bend toward justice.
The Challenge for our allies is to be just that- allies. Oppressors, frenemies, or fauxgressives not needed or wanted. We are the experts at being trans and living our lives. If we tell you something is hurtful, insulting or transphobic take it as the gospel truth and correct the problematic behavior. If we respectfully ask for your help we need it at that moment in time, not excuses or delays.
The Challenge for us in trans world is to let go of the shame and guilt, be proud of the person staring back at us in the mirror, call out those people in our midst who sell us out to our oppressors or are impeding efforts to build community, fight tooth and nail to ensure that we have human rights coverage, and resist any attempts to roll it back once it is achieved.
If we all step up to our challenges and work to overcome them, it’ll be a much better world for all involved