With this beautiful poster from this year's Trans March hanging on my bedroom wall, I am reminded every day of the struggles that so many face. Just one week ago, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill empowering transgender students, but unfortunately there are a lot of folks that still don't get it.
There have been numerous reports on the news and discussions about what this new law means. Some have argued that privacy has gone out the window and that small kids are going to be "exposed" to things they are too young to see. Horsefeathers! This is just part of the ongoing transphobia that seems to be just about everywhere and it makes me want to scream. How can good people who say they want to do good and make a difference in the world, buy in to this system of hate and prejudice?
People make transphobic jokes and remarks because transgender people because we let them. We (many of us who have been targets of hate ourselves) have decided that the trans community make easy targets. It is not just hate speech or discrimination by action that I am talking about here.
The hate crimes against transgender people are so high that anyone with a heart should be able to just look at it and want to change people's thinking, and yet those crimes continue. Names like Brandy Martell, Destiny Lauren, Angie Zapata, Rita Hester, Gwen Araujo, and Fred Martinez, Jr are heard on our evening newscasts because they became the latest victims of murder by hate.
There is not enough space here to detail the anti-trans speech and actions that are prevailant globally. You'll just have to trust me. Some of it is very obvious. Calling a human being "it" is just plain wrong and everyone knows that. Beating someone up or taking their life is also wrong of course and we know that as well. Now it's time to do something!
As I like to say here, I don't have all the answers, but I do know that transphobia has GOT TO GO! Take a second, whoever you are, and picture someone you hold dear (your son or daughter or wife or mother) and then ask how you would feel if they were attacked. How would you feel if someone you dearly loved was murdered because of who they are?
One more thing: don't you dare say "But I'm gay. How can I be transphobic?" or "I know a trans person therefore I can’t be transphobic!”