Lately all forums are abuzz with the topic of women’s rights. Equal pay, reproductive issues and feminism are grabbing the headlines on a daily basis. I find myself facing nearly all of the same battles facing biological women but with the added struggle to be understood and recognized as a transsexual woman. I often ask myself why most transgender women purely acknowledge themselves as “women” and not as “transgender women”. Why do they find it shameful to admit to being transgendered?
The majority of transgender women I’m familiar with, whether they be acquaintances, friends, or colleagues, admit many of their close friends don’t even know they have transitioned. Most neglect to disclose being transgender when dating. Is there some sort of an indelible Scarlet T they think they will be forced to wear if they are forthcoming? Is it personal insecurity or is it simply a trait they feel they only share on a need to know basis?
To that point, how can we possibly educate others through transgender awareness and fight for transgender rights when few are confident and proud to embrace transgenderism? Although we are a gender and not an orientation, we need to follow in the footsteps of our GLB brothers and sisters and stand up and express who we are. If we do not how can we expect society to follow suit?
So I say talk as much as possible. Share yourself with the people around you. Find a GLBT community center and give some time to an adolescent struggling with sexual identity. Start a group where transgenders can meet and express ideas. There are so many seemingly small things we can all do, but small drops in the bucket become waves of change and that wave of change can become a full movement.