Isn’t it amazing how many advances we make in society?
Science, technology, research, medicine. Our world changes every single day. We are literally smarter than we were yesterday. We are evolving as we speak.
I mean, I sit here, typing on this invention called a computer and a keyboard, utilizing this invention called reading glasses for my aging eyes. We hold actual computers in our hands all day long. We can rule the world from our phones, y’all.
And just look at modern medicine. We have robots doing surgical procedures and tests that show radioactivity in our bodies and pharmaceuticals for anything and everything.
All of these advancements. All of this progression. Amazing, right?
Yet, here I am, just having finished defending transgender people, yet again, on social media. Responding to the “YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR GENDER WITH MEDICINE AND SURGERY”, and the “BEING TRANSGENDER ISN’T A REAL THING”, arguments.
Why is it so difficult for us to evolve socially?
How do we get so stuck in these specific ways?
Why are people so quick to pick up the new diet fad supplement that isn’t FDA approved, but condemn someone’s mere existence simply because they’re trans?
Is it religion? Fear of being wrong? Patriarchal?
What is everyone so goddamn afraid of?
Many people don’t understand why I bother engaging in these online arguments. And the answer: because allies have to.
We have to speak up more.
It’s our duty to elevate the existence of trans people.
What rocks me to my core is the hypocrisy of these folks who care so much about other people’s genitals and how others identify. This one topic, that has absolutely no bearing of their lives, that holds no weight for them, that affects them in literally zero ways, it ignites this fire in them to actively fight against and oppress and entire community of people.
All while they…
…get their hair dyed to the color of their liking.
…take medicine to cure their ailments.
…wear braces to fix their teeth.
…get Botox to fight signs of aging.
…use Viagra to get their dick up.
…surgically put silicone in the boobs to make them bigger.
…use birth control pills to prevent pregnancy or to lessen heavy periods.
…use hormone replacement therapy for menopause.
…replace their knee joint because of osteoarthritis.
I could sit here all day and list the things we do as cisgender people that “go against nature”, or doing something that “God didn’t intend”.
But, holy shit.
Someone wants to live their truth?
Someone wants to live their life in a way that makes them whole?
Someone wants to save their own life by changing their name, switching to their pronouns, maybe begin hormone therapies or have gender affirmation surgery?
Brains explode all over the place.
It defies all logic, this hypocrisy.
I will never understand why others are so overly obsessed with how people live their lives.
How many studies, reports, and medical organizations’ statements have to be released in order for people to listen to the needs of trans individuals? When will it be enough to validate their existence?
This dissonance results in such a lack of resources for the trans community, especially in more rural areas.
I cannot find a pediatrician for my son who is versed in caring for a transgender child, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics stance on the issue is clear. And by “caring for”, I simply mean the right and wrong things to say while examining my child for a sprained wrist; an office staff who have been trained on trans inclusiveness. I have to drive almost an hour for him to see a pediatric endocrinologist that has some semblance of a clue on how to care for trans kids. There is only one mental health practitioner in my county who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues.
It boggles my mind how we can be simultaneously progressed and regressed at the same time.
I’m in sales so I drive a lot, spanning about 180 mile radius. Last week, as I was driving, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of clinics in my area advertising for low testosterone/erectile dysfunction treatments. I counted 4 clinics and 4 billboards, in just one county. Just so old men can have sex.
Imagine if we treated transgender healthcare with that same respect and enthusiasm as a flaccid penis? Can you imagine the protests and backlash if there were advertisements of this sort, along the lines of “Transgender Healthcare Given Here! We Want To Help You Live Your Best Life!”…to save the lives and the emotional health of transgender people by giving them affirming care?
Flaccid penises? Can’t have that! Old men deserve sex!!!!
Emotional well being of trans people? Validate their existence and listen to them? Hard pass.
Weird parallel to draw, I know, but…problematic, skewed thinking here, isn’t it?
We are continually failing the transgender community socially and medically, therefore, emotionally. It is archaic thoughts and beliefs that continue to assault trans people. And they deserve so much more. We are a country so determined to raise mental health awareness, yet, ignore and oppress and entire community time and time again when they tell us their needs.
Progress takes time, yes. Of course. We’ve come a long way, and I’m so thankful my son was able to come out in a time when we’re talking about this more and more.
But, this work, this fight, has been going on for decades.
And here we sit, while the Supreme Court of the United States deliberates over the livelihoods of gay and trans citizens. While Obama-era protections for our trans kids are being rolled back. While the privatization of public schools is taking over, where LGBTQ+ students aren’t welcome. While teens message me everyday, telling me their parents kicked them out because they’re trans. While hate crimes are at an all time high. While trans women of color are being murdered at a disproportionate rate.
When do we listen?
When do we evolve?
When do we advance?
When do we truly evolve our minds and our hearts?
We need to get more comfortable with what makes us uncomfortable.
Be the person who looks back on your 5-year-ago self and says, “Wow. I’m so glad I’m not that person anymore. I’m so glad I evolved my thinking and challenged what I thought to be true”.
Not recognizing and validating the transgender community is as archaic as a Nokia 3310, or that believing that smoking while pregnant is healthy. The trans community desperately needs you to move on, open your minds, and see them. Their lives are depending on it.
Evolve. In all ways. You can do it.
2 thoughts on “When Will We Listen to Trans People?”
Thanks for blogging. I am the transparent of a 9 year old awesome trans kid and here in New York City we have a lot more options. We were moving out of state right before she came out and I reversed everything real quick knowing ahead I needed community. It was the right choice for us, but I wish we didn’t only count on a few (two San Francisco and NYC) cities to have more tools. Even here in NYC we are a first for many thing, often opening new doors and having what I call “Rosa Parks moments” as we change bathrooms or conversations. Vanessa, I see you and feel so proud of the work you are doing down south, plowing through difficult and new territories. We need that, thank you. I particularly love the podcast. I wish for Florida and everywhere visibility and acceptance. It is not that hard and the time is now. We must evolve
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Thank you for being a brilliant ally. ❤ I recall the rage I felt at that very hypocrisy. I was fully grown, at mid-life, and believed I had the right to make decisions that affected my own life and body. Then I had to travel hours for treatment – as an agoraphobic person, this added much unnecessary stress to the process. Yes, a major upgrade required.
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