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sometimes I need to pinch myself

In a few days this blog will be exactly five years old and it occurred to me that during that time our advancement as a community has been nothing short of extraordinary.

My own personal progression has followed with it and my life made infinitely better as it climbed back from the low reached in 2007 when everything came crashing down after hitting the wall.

We now have the reassurance of knowing that young children won't need to suffer in silence for years like we did. There is help for them now with the only caution being that they not be put on hormones before they themselves know who they are. Still the landscape after just five short years is almost unbelievable and sometimes I need to pinch myself.

You may have noticed that the transgender headlines in the media need to be that much more sensational as people are bored with the old one of "man becomes woman". This is just one measure of the progress we have made.

To those who might be tempted to roll their eyes and think "not another transgender story" I say try living for decades pretending to be someone else and then get back to me.

So why not this year contemplate coming clean with yourself and with others about who you are. I know you won't regret it.


Comments

  1. Good point, Joanna, that the media's coverage of transgender people is becoming much more nuanced. Our emergence has crossed the tipping point. That said, those who defend their status quo and deny our reality are digging in for battle. We thus have to follow the steps of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and others like them to steadfastly march forward, linked arm in arm. We shall overcome and live our collective and individual dreams.

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  2. the more we come out and reveal ourselves the harder it will be for people to be dismissive..

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    1. I agree. Although I've only presented as female to a small number I've come out to about 150 colleagues, friends, and family. I told them my goal (which is true) is to give them an example of a decent person that they know, that to be transgender is simply to be an example of normal human diversity, and that I hope that through that they will be prepared to have dinner table conversations with their friends and family.

      I haven't received any negative comments. A couple of have been a bit equivocal. I'd guess about 20% haven't answered at all so I can assume how they feel. But most responded in full support of me, Emma, and praised my coming out to them. One even told me that his child (AMAB, 9 years old) has expressed gender dysphoria and asked for help, which I've been providing.

      Previously I'd thought of writing some sort of short guidebook or something that I hoped would arm cis folks to have such casual conversations among family and friends. I realized that I could try to write such a thing but it would be more important to come out to people who know me for the person I am, regardless of gender or dysphoria.

      Easy for me to say and do, much harder for others. If I'm never employed again that's no problem. And if my family or friends distance themselves from me that will hurt but I see that as more their problem than mine.

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  3. As an American, my optimism has been tempered by serious caution in 2017. I echo Emma's sentiments that we have to be ready for battle. The rise in hate crimes inspired by the last election has already hit me close, as one of my gay male friends was recently beaten. In a city better known for its tolerance.

    Things are still getting better, and thankfully, the spirit of acceptance and understanding really does seem to have penetrated the hearts and minds of younger generations. And I largely agree with your post.

    But don't pinch me just yet. ;)

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    1. believe me Caryn that I know there are factions out there among the less educated and dogmatically driven that will not accept under any conditions. Some of these have been emboldened by Trump and his dumbed down version of America first and minorities and undesirables need not apply. My hope is in the millenials and under who clearly have far less problem with difference because they have grown up with it..

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  4. The improvement for us in the past decade has been positive. Of course there's still more that needs to be done, but when viewed against the past (I saw four earlier decades with no progress), it's encouraging.

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