This ISN’T “political”
I write a LOT about staying safe as a t-girl. This can cover a LOT of different things, such as how to safely wear a gaff, what to have in your purse, or how to stay vigilant in public when we are en femme.
There are things that threaten us other than just the transphobic jerk at the mall or a corset that is not worn properly.
We need to be aware of EVERYTHING that could hurt us, and that includes legislation.
So before you send emails telling me to stop writing “political stuff” or taking the comments section off the rails, please keep it in mind that our personal safety, protecting who we are, is more than just being able to safely walk in stilettos.
It wasn’t that long ago when it felt like things were getting better, that tomorrow was looking brighter.
When marriage equality was passed in 2015 it was an exciting time. It didn’t impact me personally but I was happy that many of my friends were finally going to be able to legally marry the person that they loved. When I married it was because I had the right to make a private decision about my life that impacted no one else on the planet and now my friends had the same right.
It was a sign that we as a country were becoming more progressive, more tolerant, and less intrusive about the private decisions that someone else made.
As a trans person I had hoped that it was a sign that our community was, well, next. Perhaps if marriage was defined as a commitment between two people, regardless of their gender, perhaps one’s gender identity differing from the gender they were assigned at birth could become more understood and accepted, or at the very least, tolerated.
At my most optimistic I was hoping we were becoming more enlightened. But if enlightened was a bridge too far, hopefully it meant that at the very least we could let grown adults make their own decisions about their body and their medical care.
Besides my wife, my gender identity and gender presentation and choices about my body impact exactly zero percent of the world’s population. How I dress, how I identify, the prescriptions I take, or conversations I have with my doctor are about as relevant to someone else as the type of music I listen to or the food I prefer.
If I chose to, I could schedule an appointment with my doctor today about HRT. If I wanted, I could file the paperwork to legally change my gender. As of this writing I can do anything I damn well please when it comes to my gender, whether it is about how I present or what box is checked on my drivers license.
I am an adult and can make my own decisions. Everyone should have that right, regardless of someone else’s religion or moral beliefs.
We all know that it’s looking very likely that Roe v Wade is going to go away. People who have the ability to become pregnant will no longer be able to make decisions about their health. A right that has been in place for almost fifty years will disappear.
I do not have the ability to get pregnant but I think pregnancy is the private and intimate decision that is left to the individual.
It’s not hard to imagine and anticipate what could come next.
Perhaps I am being pessimistic (and I really hope this is just pessimism) but I wouldn’t be surprised if marriage was equality was challenged and overturned.
We’re seeing laws being passed all around the country when it comes to gender-affirming care for the trans community. So far most of these laws are impacting those under the age of 18, but it’s not unlikely to think that there will be serious attempts to prevent grown adults from making decisions about their own gender and health.
Although I don’t want to transition or start HRT, I think I should have the right to make these choices if I wanted. I think you do too.
A law doesn’t have to impact me directly in order for me to support it.
Where will this all end?
As I wrote earlier, when marriage equality was passed, I had hoped that the trans community was “next”. My thoughts are somewhat the same today but they are less optimistic. If Roe v Wade goes away, I think that marriage equality will be targeted after that, and then WE are next.
I wouldn’t be surprised if doctors were prevented from prescribing estrogen to trans women or states were prohibited from changing one’s gender on a birth certificate.
But that is just the start.
Neither of these things impact ME personally. I don’t plan on starting HRT or legally updating my gender but dammit I think an adult has the right to make these choices for themselves.
It’s not hard to imagine (or fear) that gender presentation will be “regulated”. It sounds fascist to think so but perhaps someone could call the police on me if they see me, a t-girl, out in public.
I feel that bad things are coming. That they are already on their way.
Regardless of your religious beliefs or moral perspective or commitment to a political party, adults have the right (and I am speaking specifically about ADULTS in this post) to decide who they marry, how they dress, the pronouns they use, and their medical treatment.
The world is very different than it was a year ago. It will likely change even more in the months ahead.