Friday, March 31, 2017

Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility. Different from Transgender Day of Remembrance which honors the dead transgender individuals each year, it's a day to both celebrate those of us who are still alive, shedding light on the lives we lead as well as bring to light the issues we face.

The population of transgender people has nearly doubled in the last decade and yet I actually assume it's less about the fact that we are becoming more numerous and more that we are becoming more brave; able to stand up and say "Yes, I am transgender." or "No, I can no longer live a lie."

With that in mind, I wanted to speak a the cisgender audience. I want you to imagine yourself in your everyday lives, going about your own business. You probably encounter some of us without ever knowing it. So I wrote this poem.

 Everyday Visibility

You pass him as you walk down the street
in line to get coffee, she orders a mocha breve.
They hold the hand railing in front of you on the subway
she sits near the front of the bus next to a stranger.
He's leading that meeting you had at work
she's in the stall next to you in the ladies' room.

You may not see us but we are there
and we kind of always have been
whether we're 'out and proud'
or blending in after years of changes
or even trying to live with 
the unborn secret in our hearts.

She honks her horn in the traffic jam
In the movie theater, they're sitting 3 rows behind you
She's having lunch in the same restaurant as you
You leave and he wipes down your table.

He's your cousin's husband
or your best friend's brother
She's your coworker's wife
or your everyday barista.

We are all over the map both figuratively and literally
no two of us are alike in beliefs or personality
you can box us up in a package called 'transgender'
and try to make it sound scary or weird
but the reality is we are just people like you
leading everyday lives.

We're not asking for much, just unalienable Rights
like everyone else, we want to live free
if you give us a chance, put yourselves in our shoes
we are really not all that different from you
so maybe reach out and try to understand
chances are, you already know one of us.


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