Representation is Vital.. (and so is your feedback!)
Transgender people come from all walks of life and may transition at many different stages of life. This is not a new trend or simply a fad, even though your personal knowledge or experience of this may seem new thanks to it being a hot topic in the media. What is happening is that more and more transgender people are daring to come out and are fighting to be treated equally. We are not asking for special rights. We are asking to be treated with respect and dignity just like our fellow non-transgender family members and friends. We are fighting against stereotypes and being branded as threats by politicians and clueless organizations that claim they want to protect women and children from us. Being transgender is not a mental illness, despite that lie being repeated over and over again by those who hate their own concept of what a transgender person is. If they knew us personally, they would find there is nothing to hate. We are not deviants, we are not immoral, we are not the spawn of any religious figure of evil. We are human beings who know very succinctly who we are.
When a transgender person is allowed to live as the person they were created to be.. then a happy, healthy and amazing person emerges. If the opposite occurs.. repression of oneself, forced conversion therapy, denial of humane medical care, acts of hatred and violence.. that is when transgender people develop actual mental illnesses (depression, suicidal thoughts, drug abuse and addiction, self-harm, isolationism) due to constant stress from being treated as other than human. We do not deserve this. We are a valid and wonderful variation on the human condition. As Katie Couric’s recent documentary The Gender Revolution points out, there are many new studies that have shown this is not an imagined condition and that it is not a mental illness. Transgender people have walked this earth for as long as our cisgender brothers and sisters. Please stop listening to hateful rhetoric about us and if you meet a transgender person, then make the effort to get to know them. You won’t be sorry that you did.
I spend the time needed to maintain this website, my tumblr blog, and my twitter feed in order to be of help to other transgender people. In particular, I receive messages from other transgender people who have been fearful that they waited too long to transition. Increased representation in all forms of media is resulting in many more transgender people taking those first crucial steps of accepting themselves and beginning to heal, regardless of their age. I want to thank the many people who have written to me providing feedback and encouragement. I think I get as much out of sharing my story as you say you get from reading it. Your positive feedback helps me more than you know.
Here are just a few of the kind messages that I received on days when I needed a boost…
I have been following your blog on occasion for nearly 1.5 years at least but much more so recently. My entire life I have known that I was trans but it was only about 5 years ago I understood what was going on and about 2 years ago I totally accepted and started therapy.
Your transition is probably one of my top 3 favorites I have been following and also one of the most inspiring. Your abundance of selfies is exactly the type of thing I need on super dysphoric days. Without doubt you have had your struggles but you make it look so flawless and seeing how happy you are is so uplifting.
The results of your transition gives me hope for myself and I am quite certain many others who are experiencing the same struggle that you have gone through and one that I will be starting at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later. I have seen an endo twice this year who specializes in trans issues and both times I have chickened out for family reasons when it comes time to take that prescription from him.
I just want to say thank you so much for sharing this intimate part of your life with the world. Thank you for being so awesome and inspiring for all us out there too scared to make the leap but knowing that one day we will finally find the courage to do so. It is in part because of people like you who have helped break those barriers for everyone.
You are such an inspiring woman, even though I happen not to be trans. I see the courage you have and it inspires me to always know that I have what it takes to make my dreams a reality! I wish nothing but the very best for you. You have truly made me a better person, and I will always look up to strong and powerful women like yourself 🙂
Being from conservative Arkansas you give me hope that as I make my journey I will be accepted 🙂 thanks for sharing
Thank you, for every thing you do. You are a beautiful and inspiring woman and you help keep me sane