For most people, March 31 doesn’t hold any deep significance. However, for the transgender community it means a lot. For today is the “Transgender Day of Visibility”. For those of us who don’t conform to the traditional societal view of a “gender binary”, life can be a struggle. Even for those who don’t identify as either male or female it is hard. Today I want to put a voice to the trans persons who can’t or won’t speak up.
Being transgender means that you struggle with your identity as your birth sex doesn’t match up with your own view of self. This dysphoria bubbles up until you can’t take it anymore and have to do something. We don’t ask to be trans, it’s not a “choice”, and it’s certainly not a “phase”. If someone thinks it is, then let them know it’s not. We go through life feeling “different”, and the hate and fear others have can be quite overwhelming.
My own journey has taken me through a lot. I spent a lot of time convincing myself that I wasn’t really transgender but rather the so-called “phase”. I pushed the feelings back to the point where I tried as hard as I could not to think about it. Then it all came crashing down and I had to make a choice. Either transition or die. And I know that I’m hardly the only one who’s felt this way. Society tends to treat us as outcasts, which means we try to deny ourselves until we can’t take it any more.
Today is the day where those of us who can speak out for our fellow brothers and sisters, putting a voice and face to our community. Today is the day where we step out of the shadows and be seen and heard. This should be every day, but the fact of the matter is a good chunk of society wants us to be invisible. If you consider yourself an ally, ask questions. If you consider yourself a friend, be there for one of us.