Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

| Sep 11, 2017 | Comments (0)

I was never a fighter

I was never a fighter. (I was never a lover either, but I found myself and married the perfect woman last year, so that’s going very well.) Most of my life I was a hider. I hid who I really was from myself, my family and just about everyone for 57 years. Then I couldn’t hide anymore and had to fight for myself. I fought my personal demons. Fought with my family and occasionally with former friends and unknown people. I took some lumps, big ones. I’m no longer in some people’s lives, but I came out stronger, prouder and tougher than I ever imagined.

Surrounded by fighters

As I get to know more members of the Trans* community and our allies, I find myself surrounded by fighters. Many of the fighters I admire have been on the front lines for years. Longtime activists like Kate Bornstein, Janet Mock, Jennifer Boylan, Laverne Cox, and Dr. Jamison Green. Younger fighters are stepping up; Jazz Jennings, Gavin Grimm, Avery Jackson, Mathew Myers, and six-year-old Emma Smith. The Human Rights Campaign, who for years didn’t know we existed, has seen the light and are fighting for our rights also. Sarah McBride, of the HRC, was the first Trans woman to address the nation from the Democratic National Convention. I see cisgender folks I know at local events and Pride gatherings, showing up at city and county council meetings supporting Trans* rights. Allies are supporting our causes with contributions, shoe leather and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us.

 My all-time favorite fighter

During a conversation between my wife and an old friend of hers, her friend made a disparaging remark about Trans* people. I saw my bride and best friend jump in like a momma bear protecting her cubs. This is a woman who only four years ago, didn’t know what the word ‘transgender’ meant, let alone had ever meet one, now she’s standing up and fighting for all of us. You would have been so proud. I am.

The fight has gotten tougher . . .

President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Attorney General Sessions and many others in the current administrations are making headway in gutting many of the advances we made under the Obama administration. The Family Research Council, a right-wing fundamentalist Christian organization has been fighting against LGBT rights for years and has the ear and access to the White House. The recently announced ban against active transgender armed service members and all Trans* people serving their country is just another assault on our rights. Opposition from governor’s mansions under the guise of “religious freedom” and protecting young people from being accosted in restrooms have been another club used against us. The current atmosphere all points to the repression of Trans* people from six-year-old Emma Smith to the oldest one of us.

 . . . but we’re tough enough for the fight!

After all the work and struggle we’ve been through, finally coming to terms with our true selves, we can meet this ever-present challenge. Now, more than ever, we need to write our elected officials, every one of them, starting with the dog catcher, school boards, local government, state and federal. Inundate them with snail-mail, email, call their offices and confront them in person. Find a local, or state-wide organization and volunteer, support and promote. Do the same for the national organizations. Here’s a link to a website listing 22 national LGBT organizations you need to know.

 You will find a list of thirty-eight state organizations at this link.

 A $5.00 contribution or speaking from a global stage, everything helps and everything matters. Don’t be complacent or shrug it off thinking, What can I do? We can all do something. Chose what is possible for you and your circumstance. We can all make a difference and we can all win this fight.

 Emma Smith

If your indignation isn’t cranked up enough, please read Emma’s story on The Huffington Post.

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Category: Body & Soul, Opinion, Politics

About CateOMalley: I am Cate, a mature transgender woman. I am a writer, blogger, parent, grandparent, sailor, activist and happy. I am a widow, and live with my yorkiepoo, Belle. I love music, reading, cooking, outdoors, DIY, theater, antiquing and flea markets, home brewing, and seeing what is around the bend in the road or over the horizon. I own the MatureTransgender.com website. It is an outreach, support and resource for mature trans* people and especially for those who, like me, came out after fifty.

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