I can only ever speak of my own experiences in the world of transition having gone through it with my wife. I have my observations, my feelings, and my exposure to this community. So I hope that what I write every week does not offend anyone, it’s not meant to. It is simply just my journey and what I have been through along the way. So with that being said, I have a question, has the world gone mad?
Transgender folks are a minority in not only in this country, but also around the world. So why on earth would transgender people be so mean to one another? I read the blogs, the websites and the transgender Facebook pages. It baffles my mind and honestly makes me angry. With today’s political climate being so unstable, I would think being nasty to another transgender person would be the last thing that you would want to do.
“We really don’t need people in our own community being hateful to each other.”
There is only one word that comes to my mind when I see these types of things on transgender websites and forums. Bullies. Plain as the nose on my face, some people are bullying others. It is unacceptable anywhere in life. It is never ok, and it leaves a lasting imprint on the person being bullied. Cyberbullying is especially wretched. To have another person, in this case, a person that you don’t even know, say terrible things to you is just awful. All while hiding at home behind a computer screen. We have enough negativity in this world to deal with. We really don’t need people in our own community being hateful to each other. It truly breaks my heart to see, and I am a cisgender woman. The suicide statistics in the transgender community are already staggering, let’s not add to them from within.
It seems to me that the older you are the harder it is to come out. I have witnessed first hand the self-loathing that some transgender and non-binary folks have gone through before being able to speak those words out loud. So having been in those shoes and knowing how difficult it could be, why then would you publicly put down another person going through some of the same things that you are? My mentor and former teacher has told me that it is due to the bullies’ low self-esteem. That they are so displeased with themselves that the only way to feel better is to tear down someone else. And, the horrible things that they say to someone else are their true feelings about themselves. This whole thing saddens me tremendously, to think that a community of people searching for expectance in the world could be so horrid to one another.
“Tearing down one person in the community is like tearing down all of us.”
My wife and I run weekly peer support groups at a local community center for transgender and non-binary folks. She works with the transgender people and my group consists of their partners and families. The group is an hour and a half every Friday night and most weeks we don’t get out of there until past midnight. In less than a year we have met some of the most amazing, loving, and generous people, all of whom have been on a similar journey. They come without prejudice or preconceived ideas of one another. It is uplifting, supportive, and always positive. We have not only formed a community but a gloriously strange family.
As members of the LGBTQ+ community, it is important that we share a message of unified love for each other out in the world. Tearing down one person in the community is like tearing down all of us. It is destructive and aggressive behavior that needs to stop. Especially as we continue to fight for transgender folks to have the same basic human rights that everyone else has in this country. This journey has proven to be strenuous enough, let’s not make it more difficult for our brothers and sisters. Be the light in someone else’s darkness. The hand that pulls, that lifts them up. Be a reason to keep on fighting.