You probably know someone who is trans, and you may not even know it. Trans people don’t walk around with a sign on their foreheads, they don’t announce it to the world every chance they can get. Hell… some of them do not WANT you to know.
Some live their lives open, willing to answer questions and to educate others because they want people to understand that they ARE. JUST. PEOPLE. Others live stealth, as in, secret. So they aren’t under fire, aren’t questioned, don’t have to explain themselves and can live “safely” (as safe as they can get in a world like ours). Under their clothes they may be someone else, but how would you know? You wouldn’t. Because it’s simply none of your damn business.
You probably know someone who is trans. Maybe she does your hair or nails, maybe she served your dinner at your favorite restaurant last week, maybe he was your barista when you grabbed this morning’s coffee and threw an extra dollar in the tip jar because he was so friendly. Maybe he’s your child’s teacher, or your brother’s boss. Maybe she’s the one who let you slide into the front of the line at the grocery store because you only had one item. A breath of fresh, trans, air.
You probably know someone who is trans, but they haven’t told you yet, or maybe haven’t told anyone because this world we live in is a scary one. And they aren’t sure they are ready to face it, to put themselves out there. To be seen and have to explain because their genitalia has never been a subject of conversation. If someone is living as the gender assigned to them at birth, it would be considered highly inappropriate. But if they were to come out, be open, suddenly that taboo genitalia conversation would be open for discussion. Suddenly, that tasteless and unacceptable topic is no longer inappropriate but almost expected. Apparently, it’s fair game to talk about someone’s penis (or lack their of) if they have expressed they don’t appreciate it. Don’t identify with it.
You probably know someone who is trans. You might love them dearly. They might be your child, your grandson, your sibling, your niece or nephew. They might be the neighbor kid down the street who has played with your children for years and always been a bit “quirky”. You might know them, but they don’t know yet, or they haven’t figured out what these weird feelings and thoughts they are experiencing mean. Not yet. But they will. And when that happens, what then? Will they then no longer be a “person” in your eyes?
Or… maybe it’s you. Maybe you are the one experiencing the dysphoria, the pain, the misunderstanding of why your body and your mind don’t seem to match up. And you don’t know how or where to start, maybe you won’t ever. Or maybe you’re scared.
You probably know someone who is trans but instead of embracing it, opening your mind and allowing your neighbor, friend, niece, or child to live as their TRUE self, you’ve decided to demonize this. Make it ugly, scary, and obscene. Because if it becomes something so disturbing, then maybe you can disassociate this person you love from this “problem” they are having. And maybe the “problem” will go away. But it won’t.
You probably know someone who is trans that you don’t know is in pain. Is suffering every day to be accepted. Whether it be at home, with family, at school, at work, or just on the street. Someone who is struggling to get through the day because their dysphoria is so strong it’s debilitating and it’s causing them so much distress that they have considered ending it all, giving up. Because the idea of going on this way is just too much.
You probably know someone who is trans that is hoping that when you do find out, you’ll look at them as a person as you always did. One who was considerate, loving, respectful, caring, and REAL. Someone who brought you a smile, who made you laugh, you showed you affection and empathy, gave you hope.
You probably know someone who is trans but what you don’t know is that person is the bravest, strongest, most fearless person you’ll probably ever meet. That person has more self-awareness and more compassion BECAUSE of who they are and not despite it. That person would fight just as hard for you or I in our struggles because they know what it is like to be misunderstood, unaccepted, and discriminated against, and yet…. they persisted.
The someone you know who is trans is hoping that when the day comes you will step up, show your support, express your love, and be understanding. Be accepting. Show them that despite who they are, it’s just a part of them and doesn’t define them. They are still a human being. A person who deserves respect, love, and rights just like you and I.
You probably know someone who is trans. What are you going to do about it?