It’s March 31st and that means Transgender Day of Visibility. We have two days every year where we as trans people focus on who we are as a community and in the eyes of society. This day and Transgender Day of Remembrance. Clearly the later is geared to bring light to those who have gone before us in this journey.
I began transitioning nine years ago, almost a decade has passed since I made my first steps toward living authentically. Since then, I’ve stopped using words that used to be okay to me and then just became not okay. I’ve seen transgender people in the mainstream media both on news and tabloid media and major network series who have included transgender actors. I’ve seen the rise of trans-celebrities and have met at least two “politically conservative” transgender people (GASP!). I’ve spoken to and done comedy to audiences from California to Texas to Wisconsin and have heard people tell me how just being visible and living my life in the middle of the country has made them think about us differently. I’ve been a catalyst for people to begin a journey of understanding. I am visible.
That being said, I’ve seen the most horrifying headlines of transgender people being slaughtered, forced to use restrooms that do not correspond to their correct gender. I’ve seen friends who have struggled so hard just to live, to exist. I’ve watched as people I know have crumbled under an enormous weight of prejudice and hatred. I’ve seen how families have turned on their children. I’ve experienced job discrimination. I’ve been asked, too many times to count if I “…had all my parts”. I’ve been told not to be offended if someone goes off with a “real woman”. I’ve been passed up for jobs explicitly because I’m trans.
I’m not having a pity-party right now, I’m just trying to drive home what we face daily that cis-gender people do not have to go through. When you, as cis-gender person go to a restroom, you’re never questioned and told to leave, but it happens everyday to us. Going on a job interview is stressful because what if they “know”. Dating is just f’ing dumb…
“There are now more transgender homicide victims in 2015 than in any other year that advocates have recorded,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a statement.
–from The Guardian
This day for me is so important. Although we have greater visibility, we have stronger and more vocal opponents. We have legislation that is keeping us from using the restroom, and the further stripping of our person-hood by local and state governments across the country. We are here and deserve the same right to “Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness…” that everyone in this country deserves without political penalization and fear of physical assault for just walking down the street.
Although we have greater visibility, we have stronger and more vocal opponents.
This is why I’m visible. This is why I do comedy, write and tell my stories. I do it in hopes that one person will have it better. That one person might realized that their neighbor or cousin is deserving of the same respect as they are. I do this because I am proud to be me.
#IAmASister #IAmADaughter #IAmAFriend #IAmAComdeian #IAmMe and #IAmTrans