The dictionary definition of my title words:
- allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen
- Easy to perceive or detect.
- having thoughts, feelings, or motives that are easily perceived
- Unreasoninghostility, aversion, , toward transgender people.
These are two seemingly different words beginning with the same 5 letters. Yet, use them in the same sentence and you’ll see a complementary use.
Heard this lately? “The transphobic politician ranted unceasingly about Emily and he was completely transparent about his fear and prejudice.”
Let me say that as a transgender woman many of us in our community are completely transparent about the changes that occurred in our lives which allowed us to become the true selves that we are today.
Do you know how much courage it takes to admit it, one, to yourself, then two, to family, friends and then the world around you? Believe me; for years never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could be living the life that I have right now.
For years Trans folk have struggled with our identities, right down to the depth of our souls. Many of us were constrained by religion. This deep belief ingrained in us by our parents and generations before us, would not allow for such a person to exist back in the 50s and 60s. Yet, those of us who dared to be us, broke these bonds of perceived heresy, uncuffed our dreams and became liberated free thinking, free living men and women.
This was no easy deal either. Family relationships were pushed to the limit. While we had struggled with our dilemma in silence those closest to us had no idea of who we were. Acceptance of change takes time; days, weeks, months and sometimes years. I found that patience became my gateway to dealing with those who I knew and loved for years. While I wanted everyone to be as joyful as I was about being me at the start of my transition, it was a long road to haul and one still, almost 10 years later, dotted with many potholes.
Gratitude is my closest ally. It gives me reassurance daily that me being a clean and sober nicotine free woman is the greatest gift I have ever received. This is a gift that was forged by the transition of denial and fear into a clear minded, self loving woman. And the perceived male that was left behind was grateful that he no longer had to carry the burden self hatred and pain. He could simply now be. I thank God for this miracle.
Now this transparency of my life has been revealed in personal and professional ways. I wrote a book. My story (like many who are Trans) is a cornucopia of hardships. I am lucky that suicide did not capture my soul because many of us die in the face of transphobia. Confronted with a multitude of peers and family denial of who we really are even takes the strongest of us out.
Today, a transphobic Tsunami, deadly to those like me in its wake, has arisen. Religious conservatives, ignorant of anyone that is different, conjure up unrealistic fears, spewing hatred like a broken water hose, dousing normal perceptions and twisting truths into hatred. These ideas are then fed to the general populace as veiled truths about our community.
These are the people that we Trans folk face on a daily basis. Our community battles daily injustices at the local school district protecting our young, or in the Solid South through Jim Crow bathroom laws. We suffer with those in the medical community, doctors and nurses who are ill equipped to treat us. Even our existence is constantly questions in the eyes of many religions, including Catholicism, where I was raised. And yet, we move forward!
I personally will not succumb to these stumbling blocks of transphobic hatred. Myself and my community are strong with love from our families, friends and allies who now stand with us through their acceptance and love of us simply as human beings. This spiritual and invisible bond is transparent to us on a daily basis. We do not shirk or cower to transphobia, but instead we take up the weapons that work to educate those who may fear us. It is the power of knowledge and love that quells and triumphs fear. It is this loving of one another where the real power lies. The Transphobics do not know how to handle this pure truth. They try to bury it under more lies but in the end love is the power that heals.
I love the woman that I am! While it took years of pain, self hatred and denial in the shell of a perceived male to get to where I am today, I embrace the hope for the future. This is so much more important than the past.
This abundance is bigger than me, my community and our allies and in its wake our love will crush transphobic hatred into tiny crumbs and scatter them in the wind of our resilience.