Wow…its been a day here. While I had originally planned to make this post funny and humorous, I read something today that makes me have to make a very rare statement regarding politics in the US.
I quit watching televised news years ago for very personal reasons. Instead of watching the evening news, I would read my news online. Sadly, with the state of affairs in the US lately, I quit doing even that. I don’t like not being up to date on events, but everything had become so polarized and inflammatory that I felt I had to make a decision to care for myself or keep subjecting myself to mudslinging and inflammatory rhetoric. I made the decision that for now, to care for myself with regards to news, I was going to take a step back from all news coverage for a while. That was until this morning, when I received an email from my sister that has left me shaken to my core.
My sister emailed me an article discussing the current administration’s latest move to deny basic civil rights to those of us transitioning. The president and multiple agencies in Washington, DC, are trying to make it illegal to change your gender birth maker on your birth certificate. They are trying to say that sure, you can present the way you want to but you can never legally be recognized as any other gender other than the gender you were assigned at birth. They are also trying to ensure there are no protections for gender identity under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. While Title IX technically only applies to educational institutions, if they remove the guarantees of being treated fairly and as your self identified gender within the education system, I doubt it will take long for the courts to rule that there is no protection for gender identity anywhere…especially since it will all be tied to the birth certificate.
Personally, I blame multiple people for myself and others being in this position. First, I blame the Obama Administration. While Obama issued an executive order stating gender identity was protected under Title IX, executive orders are written and repealed all the time. Obama should have pushed this through Congress and fought the fight there so it became the law of the land. Unfortunately, he chose not to fight that fight and just assumed the next administration wouldn’t change it. Obviously, he was wrong.
Next, I blame the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has had the opportunity to weigh in on this issue multiple times. Being from Virginia, the most notable case I am aware of was a female to male transitioning teenager who sued his school district to be able to use the boys’ restroom. The Supreme Court took the stance they have taken so many times before on gender identity issues. They refused to hear the case and kicked the case, like some rock on the road, back to the lower courts and refused to touch an extremely important civil rights issue. Because they have continued to kick these cases back down to the lower courts, they have failed to set a legal precedent regarding basic civil rights and because of that…the door has been left open for the current administration to make decisions that will impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.
I OBVIOUSLY blame the current administration sitting in Washington, DC.
Lastly, I blame all of us who are transitioning and not speaking out, including myself. Our silence is one reason we are where we are and treated the way we are. Our silence has allowed the administration to believe we don’t deserve the rights to be ourselves. Our silence has allowed others to scream that we are freaks and deviants when, in reality, we are normal, hard working and respectful people who just want to live our lives and be respected for our hearts, souls, morals and abilities…the same as every other person walking down the street.
For too long, those of us transitioning have allowed others to fight our fight. For far too long, we allowed many LGBTQ advocacy groups to say they were fighting for us when, in fact, the organizations were almost exclusively focused on the LGB part of the equation. We believed organizations like The Human Rights Campaign when they told us they were fighting for our rights when, their definition of fighting for us was only putting up a web page discussing how we should be treated fairly. And please don’t fight me on the Human Rights Campaign belief. A transitioning friend of mine walked into the HRC office in Washington, DC, a couple of years ago and was told that other than a web page, they weren’t doing any advocacy for gender identity at that time “due to the proportionally low number of people with gender dysphoria.” They are improving…but they waited far too long to begin fighting for us.
It is clear though that we cannot remain quiet any longer if we wish to be treated with respect and dignity. We have to stand up for ourselves because obviously our elected officials, regardless of their personal beliefs, refuse to take up the fight in Congress. Take up a blog and write anonymously as I am doing. Show them you have a voice. You don’t need to tell them exactly who you are…only how HUMAN you are! Work with organizations that are attempting to support transgender rights. Educate others. Show respect to those who are supporting us. Answer questions, especially the tough ones, to help others better understand us and what we go through emotionally.
Just do SOMETHING other than hide in the shadows waiting for someone else to save you or us as a collective group.
People keep telling me how strong and brave I am. If you want the truth, I am tired and scared to death today. I have been completely unproductive at work and have spent half my day locked in my secondary office crying over what “the powers that be” in Washington want to say and do with me and my civil rights.
As far as they are concerned…I am a witch, a demon or some other monstrosity that is cursing their life and trying to corrupt them. I think anyone who knows me will tell you I am anything but that. If they want to call me a witch, fine. But let it be know that, despite my flaws, I feel I am a good person at heart and genuinely care about others. Me, this person they want to call a deviant, has spent over 20 years working in health care and taking care of people they wouldn’t even allow in the same room with them. Me, the person they would exclude, has gone back to school so she can work in mental health and help improve the lives of multiple populations they would turn their noses up at.
Maybe I am a witch, as they would call me. But I sure as hell am not the Wicked Witch of the West.
But you know what…if I am a witch, then I will do what I can to educate here and on a one on one level. I will show the kind of heart all of us have. And I will show the world that this witch #WontBeErased.
See it on Flickr!
What I’m Wearing
Ascendant – Holographic Bento Nails [@ Vanity, Sept 18]
Booty’s Beauty – Color Fetish Lipstick (Red)
Blokc – Nose Chain
Elderberry – Revenant Catwa Eye Applier
Ison – Darla Necklace
NaaNaa’s – Jom Jom Headpiece and Mask [@ Sense Event, Oct 18]
RockerZ – Silver Beauty Mark
Tableau Vivant – Whispers In The Wind
Valentine E. – Helena Dress [@ FaMeshed X, Oct 18]