Sunday, May 10, 2015

Respect - A basic part of human rights

Hello there my dear readers.  Finding topics to write about in today's media seems to be becoming an easy task.  There are many many topics to choose from.  The problem I find is, while they are all very important topics, they inevitably get beaten to death by over-broadcasting in the media.  The problem I continue to find is not with the topics that are being talked about throughout the country in regards to LGBT equality and Transgender rights is that there are so many problems that nobody is talking about.  Sure we deserve equal treatment.  Who doesn't in reality.  We are (human beings) are all equal and we deserve the right to be treated equal regardless of other people's opinions.  I think that the major issue is that we as Transgender people are not united, nor to we possess the common respect for one another that projects a positive image to the world around us.  Many of the Trans* people I speak with notice similar issues no matter where in the country they are.  Breaking this down to an individual level is the best way I can compare and contrast the situation and I understand that people can believe whatever it is they wish.  However, in retrospect, how can we as Trans* people ask others to treat us equally if we are (A) not willing to give that equal treatment in return, and (B) able to treat one another with the same respect that we demand from others.  I really don't have a secure answer, however, I do have some very very intriguing questions that I feel need to be asked and honestly, they need answers.

I have dedicated the majority of my transition at this point to working on myself and occasionally helping another person.  I have begun in recent weeks to reach out into the world on a more professional basis in an effort to help the masses in need.  Now I am no millionaire and I can't solve everyone's problems with homelessness, unemployment, lack of insurance, or ability to get their surgery.  These are problems that cannot be repaired by one person alone.  It would take the unity of the entire Trans* population pushing towards the same effort to bring numbers like 80% of Transgender people have experienced harassment on college campus', a 45% suicide rate, or the fact that over 50% of Transgender people are or will experience homelessness in their life.  Why are these numbers so high you might ask.  Many people would say that it is society at large's fault due to lack of acceptance of Transgender people.  They might be right, but just because this is a fact of the situation doesn't mean that it is the only fact.  There are many others that have lead to the rising number of Transgender suicides and other statistics that can be linked to us, the Transgender community ourselves.  I can only imagine what you, the reader, is thinking after that statement.  "What in the heck is she talking about?" "Hater!!"  "Misogynist" "How dare you tell us what is wrong with us!!"  Well, in the face of the fact that I may offend, I am willing to take on the barrage of banter.  I can take it.  It's nothing I haven't heard before.  Strange thing is, my ideas and points may only be ideas and points, but really?  Since when did we not learn anything from history?  Take violence for instance.  Many I have talked to have shown support for the Baltimore riots.  Encouraging them to continue rioting and attempting to stir up the Trans* community into acting out in a similar way.  This is what I have to say.  Seriously?? When did violence ever solve any problem without creating more.  Now, with the riots, are the African-American community within there right to be so royally ticked off that they feel that they need to resort to violence to get justice?  Sure they are!!!  I would be so angry if I was in their position.  What happened was uncalled for by the officer.  Then he gets acquitted?  What is wrong with our system.  Be outraged I say.  However, that outrage can never spill into the streets.  How does that make the abused any better than the abuser.  I have spent countless hours researching war throughout history.  I have yet to have found one war that has been fought where the oppressed rose up, fought back, and won, and they didn't oppress the people that were just previously being oppressed by.  All it does is turn the servant into a tyrant.  Is that the image we as Trans* people want to project to everyone in the world.  That we are no better than the common criminal and we just take what we want?  It's definitely not the image I want.  I believe that the only way for the Trans* community is to be just that, a community.  Look at what Martin Luther King Jr. did for the African-American community in the 50's and 60's.  He united them and won a huge victory.  Our community can do the same, but the best part of fighting for equal rights in a modern age is that we have the world at our fingertips.  We as a community do not really need a leader to unite behind.  We are our own leaders.  We have the power to change our lives and the way the world views us by our actions.  Speak out.  Be involved.  Voice your opinion, but do it in a professional way.  Honestly, if you can't take the heat your opinion may create and are not open to the opposing opinion of others, then you probably shouldn't be voicing your opinion in the first place.

I am going to continue on this same thought pattern.  Only now I am going to switch from the way we want to be viewed and treated by society to how we view and treat ourselves and each other within our own community.  I know that the majority of individuals are overwhelmingly accepting of the newly out and beginner in transition.  We all cheer for the person who is brave enough to step over the line drawn in the sand by society and join the ranks of legions of people in the LGBT.  This is exactly what we as a community should be doing.  Being inviting and accepting is almost a trademark at times.  However, lets break off the LGB and just talk about that inviting aspect of the T.  We are just as inviting and accepting to someone coming out, but what happens when that person's opinion differs from our own or the opinion of the group?  In many cases, depending on the topic, we are just like any other person or group.  We agree and disagree on a great many topics.  This is fine as it is part of normal human behavior.  Then something happens and a major issue arises, for example, how to obtain equal rights.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express that opinion.  However, what inevitably happens is that we begin to argue over to what extremes we should go, how this or that should be handled, and what the end result will be.  In this process feelings get hurt sometimes, even if it is inadvertently.  The problem is that so many of us have a different opinion and nobody is willing to step forward and organize all the thoughts that people have.  We want to society to be open minded toward us, but yet when it comes to the voices of our own people we cannot find it in ourselves to be open minded.  Why is that?  Part of it, in my opinion, is simply human nature.  The Trans* community is not the only place we find this erratic behavior.  Its found in almost every society on the planet.  How do we change that?  Honestly, that is the question of the day.  One can speculate on the inner workings of making people respect each other enough to place themselves in the shoes of another even if that other person is an enemy.  Truthfully, we may really never know how to change this in ourselves and it is entirely possible that it is so deeply woven into who we are as human beings that change might not be possible.  World peace?  Highly doubtful.  I don't believe it would work.  I do believe one simple fact though.  If we as a people want the respect that we so rightly deserve to be given, then we have to give that respect back, even when we don't want to.  Thank you for reading.