Today(3/31) was Trans Day of Visibility, and it made me wonder. And worry.
For a very long time, invisibility was the unspoken goal of transition. “Going stealth” was the ideal, as being outed could have lethal consequences.
And now, in two-thousand-and-fucking-fifteen, we’re not doing all that much better.
Trans teens still attempt suicide far more often than other people. Something like 40% of all trans teens have tried to kill themselves. Many are still disowned, abused, or forced into “reparative therapy.”
Trans adults are marginalised in society. Trans men are harassed and accused of being maladjusted females who want male privilege, trans women are accused of being male perverts who want to spy on cis women in the bathroom, and non-binary folk are barely included in the conversation(which, given the tone of it at the moment, might be a blessing in disguise.)
Visibility is important…sometimes. When a trans woman is made to feel unsafe because of her shape, or because she’s dating a man and doesn’t know if he’ll freak out and kill her when he learns of her biology, or when her ability to use public restrooms is jeopardised because someone thinks she might be a predator…is more visibility really the answer?
Why’s it her neck that has to be stuck out this time? Isn’t she doing that every day, taking that risk, just to exist? Isn’t she visible already? What if she’s longing to be invisible? What if it’s simply not SAFE for her to be visible where she is?
It is time for cisgendered people to stand up instead. Stand up for, and with, your trans brothers and sisters. You have the power, you have the privilege. You are the majority, you the loudest voice.
You should be using that voice to demand safety for your trans family. Demand equality, demand justice. Demand change.
Get over your goddamn heebie-jeebies, cis America. If you’re going to demand trans visibility…then you need to be ready to SEE trans people.
See them as people.