I need a break from (gestures all around) all this.
No, not from writing or being on social media. I need a break from the seemingly unending string of anti-trans legislation. There are currently over 80 bills being discussed right now across the country ranging from health care to participation in sports to a business’ “right” to discriminate against those in our community.
It seems to be a popular, and perhaps an easy issue to unite certain fractions of our world. It’s easy to demonize us, I suppose, despite the realities and the facts. If you’ve never seen or met a transperson it might be easy to believe that we are all twisted, sick, perverted, confused fetishists. We’re not, obviously. But it’s easy to rile some people up into thinking we are.
The pandemic has been a reality for over a year now which is something I never thought would happen. It has limited going out and enjoying the small, everyday things I used to take for granted, both en femme and as a male. Not being able to meet up with the MN T-Girls or spend the day at a museum or the mall has been frustrating and depressing, to say the least. And yes I know it’s shallow. I know the pandemic has impacted the world and others in more serious, sadder ways.
But as we get closer to the end of the pandemic, we are starting to take stock of the damage, both emotional and otherwise, that this global event has caused. Of course there’s an economic impact, of course there are changes to healthcare, changes to how businesses are run, to how we work, learn. Our mental and emotional and psychological sides have been affected as well. When someone goes through something traumatic (and I 100000% believe this is/has been traumatic), our brains don’t really process it until it is safe to do so. Our brains kick into survival mode and focus on getting us through it.
And we are getting through it. And we are starting to see how the last year or so has changed us.
One of the goals of the MN T-Girls is to increase visibility of our community in the world. If someone sees us at a cafe hopefully that person will see that we are just girls catching up over a coffee. Hopefully they realize that we are not the twisted, sick, perverted, confused fetishists others say we are.
When I go out en femme I am aware that I might be the first t-girl a cashier, a server, a barista, another shopper sees or talks to. Again, I hope that the brief interaction helps someone understand that we are just trying to live our lives. It’s an ambitious goal, but it’s something that happens in small bits and pieces.
Basically what I am saying is that we as a community and as individuals haven’t been as visible in the last year as we normally are. Being visible will (perhaps naively) help others know that we are just… people. Being visible, buying a coffee, shopping for shoes, doing normal everyday stuff humanizes someone in the eyes of another. It helps people relate to others. It’s hard to deny someone kindness when you see them. When you can relate to them, even on the smallest level. I wonder if there is a connection between the surge of anti-trans legislation and the lack of visibility and representation of our community in the real world, in the everyday world.
If more people see t-girls and t-boys in the world, perhaps support for these bills will diminish.
Going out en femme is a necessary part of my life and my gender identity. AND! it’s also activism. Activism isn’t always protests and demonstrations. Sometimes it’s quietly shopping for a skirt at the department store.