Public discourse around the subject is governed by media guidelines that operate to suppress discussion, such as this one from GLAAD: "Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the role of surgeries in the [gender] transition process." For me, you could not overemphasize the importance of sex-change surgery if you tried.
I've been asked many times before if I fear that my son will "change his mind." What if he "decides he wants to be a girl again"? What if I made a mistake by allowing him to transition at such a young age? I know that without walking a mile in my shoes, it's hard to understand. So let's pretend my child wasn't born to be transgender.
Today I'd like to discuss one of the first two post-Macy cases being brought by the EEOC, a case that highlights the conflict surrounding the transgender condition brilliantly. It shows us the state of mind of those Americans who either are profoundly ignorant of science or detest those who don't fit into their limited conceptions of sexuality.
Last year I attended my first Transgender Day of Remembrance. My teenage trans daughter had been out only six months, and no matter how much we loved, accepted, and supported her, there seemed to be so much hatred and pain lying in wait beyond our front door. Throughout the entire vigil I wept openly and profusely. So this year I had not planned to attend TDOR.
Today we memorialize and celebrate the lives of those transgender and gender-nonconforming persons who were murdered this past year simply because of their gender identities. We also honor the lives of trans people who ended their own lives because they just could not bear to go on in the face of the emotional and/or physical violence brought about by transphobia.
A professional actress, Milla is taking time off to prepare for her "final cut" in Thailand. Her transition is nearly complete, and life right now seems better as completion approaches. But what is "better"? How can I possibly understand? Life as a transgender person is not easy anywhere. In India life for transgender people is hard, but in some ways it is strangely better too.
Over the course of these past weeks, I have experienced more profound doubt about my gender transition than at any other time since I earnestly began my journey last December. As the anniversary approaches, I cannot help but notice the gradual yet significant decline in social acceptance, which appears to correlate with becoming visibly further feminized.
What is most interesting to me is what it's like to be transgender on a daily basis. Is it really that big a deal? Are most people liberal enough to see past one small part of somebody's identity? How does this play out every day? Since I spoke to Freiya, my eyes have opened to things that would not even have occurred to me.
As trans people of color, we must be empowered to walk away from organizations that do not hear our rallying cries and our petitions, that pass us over for promotions again and again. Every day, new organizations serving trans people of color are popping up that empower our communities. Let's do better at supporting them.