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Transgender Lives Matter

I can’t believe I have to say that, but I do. I am looking around with horror at all the states pushing legislation to punish and erase transgender people. I’ll admit: it’s personal to me. I have a trans daughter. But I was an ally before I knew my child was transgender. So it’s not only because it’s personal. It’s also personal because I have clients who are transgender. Even without them, it would matter to me because trans people matter whether I know them personally or not.

Getting by in this world is hard enough without having to fear for one’s life, too, simply because the body you were born with feels like the wrong body as a result, science believes, of a hiccup with hormones in prenatal development. Nobody wakes up one day and says, “You know, I think I’ll become the opposite sex to just really piss off a lot of people and make my life immeasurably more difficult!” Nobody wants to take body-changing hormones on a whim. Nobody has body parts surgically removed on a whim. (Nor, I should add, are doctors allowing people to take hormones or remove body parts without a lot of reflection first). People do not kill themselves because of this on a whim. They kill themselves after years of abuse and cruelty and fear and despair that they will never be allowed to be who they are supposed to be.

All the legislation in the world won’t prevent transgender people from existing. They are all around us and have always been, whether you could identify them or not. The only difference is whether they have the safety to live and thrive as their true selves or whether they have to live a miserable masquerade because of bigots and ignorant, fearful people.

I doubt that what I have to say is going to matter but I felt like I needed to speak up publicly to push back against this wave or transphobia and transhatred I see developing in our country. Because it’s the silence which allows that hatred to flourish and grow and I don’t want my silence to imply acceptance of that hatred and transphobia. Trans lives matter!

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