I sometimes feel like losing my cool isn’t professional, but sometimes one has to be allowed to be human, right? Maybe I’m not always professional. Maybe sometimes I’m just real.
Well, I’m so ANGRY today, this week, for what this administration is doing to my trans friends. The emotional turmoil that they’re going through, the heartache, fear, anger of a government trying to erase them. Let. that. sink. in.
I have more trans friends in my life (and on FB) than I do extended family, and I come from a big family. Over the past few years I’ve chosen my trans friends, my lesbian, gay, bi and intersex friends, my friends of color, my Muslim friends, my undocumented friends over many of my extended family. Repeatedly.
I’ve done my job, gently calling family in when they post or say things that are supporting transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, even though they do so without knowing what they do. That should make it easier for them to want to understand, right? Mmm, not in my experience. I’ve been told by some family that I’m “blowing up relationships” with the zeal of a suicide bomber clinging to my convictions.
I’ve been asked by some family, “Why don’t you just ignore them? It’s not that hard to keep scrolling or just not say something.”
I reply, “It is my literal job to teach people how to intervene when they see or hear these things. What kind of hypocrite would I be if I didn’t do it as well? Even if it’s family?”
For doing my job I’ve been unfriended by family. I’ve been uninvited to dinners if I’m going to bring my work, by people who say they support my work (so I’ve missed family dinners, because I am my work and it is me). I’ve been told that I’m “exhausting to keep the peace with”, and I’ve chosen to not go back for holidays. And it ALL hurts, but I am also stubbornly proud. It proves I am doing my job. If sticking to your principles were easy and didn’t require acutely painful sacrifice, then everyone would do it.
Trans friends, if any of you have read this far… I will choose you. Every damn day. I will fight for you. I would die for you. I will not let you be erased.