Thursday, April 11, 2013
Help Not Wanted : A Letter to the Transgender Community
Now, with that said, I am tired of being considered less... by my own community. Because I am a cis (equals biological) male, I am apparently assumed to be close minded and judgmental about the other parts of the rainbow. I am told that I can never understand what it is like to be a woman, or a black man, or a transgender-ed person because I was not born any of these. I am told that I am unique because I don't take issue with racial or physical differences when looking at my friends and loved ones.
When I suggested helping start a Transgender support group, I was told I would look like a predator or that my being there would make any trans-men feel uncomfortable.That my being there would be counterproductive of the meeting and that I would be force-ably outing the trans-men in my community. And my question is: If I am a true ally to all, why must I be made to feel that my help, my support is worthless?
And I am not alone. I have watched as many were told, "We appreciate your support, but you don't understand what it's like?" And one can only be told that so many times before walking away, feeling useless and ashamed that there is nothing we can offer.
We are all of a life journey to find and realize our true selves. How is it that my experiences are less valuable because I am a cis male and white? Have I never been the minority? Have I never felt unloved or unwanted? I submit that we, as a human species, are all subjected to judgment from the masses, from our families and friends. And to be told that I'm not good enough to help anyone understand is insulting and perpetuates the same anger and frustration that my transgender counterparts feel.
As a human being, I feel that as long as we continue to fight against each other and even those willing to help, we all lose. As long as we continue to talk about how your struggle is tougher than my struggle, we are not focusing on the things that will help us grow. As long as we tell ourselves and others that their help is not needed, their advice is not wanted, and their life experiences are invalid, we deny ourselves the ability to see the common themes and change so that all people are equal, dignified, and loved.
This is the final battle: to be able to see and accept love from all who offer it and to believe in good intent even in the hardest of lessons. We will always fight hate in it's various forms, but it is only when we forget the power and healing of love that we are truly lost.