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February 3, 2013

Being Fearlessly Out and Trans is a Revolutionary Act

On one of the trans Facebook groups I monitor a post was put up about the gruesome murder of transman  Evon ‘Yung LT’ Young.  One person remarked in the comment thread under the post that’s why she never leaves her home, and of course my response to that comment triggered this post.

That’s what the haters want…They want you to cower in fear locked up behind your doors. Your most revolutionary act as a trans person is to be fearlessly out and about in the world.

We have to constantly battle as transpeople the unholy trinity of shame, guilt and fear.   One of the reasons we get so much violence aimed at us is not only because we are trans,  but the haters want to intimidate us into silence so they can go back to demonizing us with impunity and claiming we don’t exist.

Umm no.  This is the second decade of the 21st century.   We are now 60 years beyond the February 13 day Christine Jorgensen returned from Denmark to popping media flashbulbs and overwhelming media attention.

[pullquote align=”right”]And how do you stand up for your human rights? By committing the revolutionary act of being fearlessly out and about in the world living your ordinary, everyday lives.[/pullquote]Trans people need to be out, proud and claiming their rightful place in the beautiful mosaic of human life. We  need to be and are demanding our human rights be respected and protected in the laws of the countries we reside in.  We are demanding respect for our humanity from friend, foe and frenemy.

If the haters don’t like that, tough.   I know I don’t care what they think because being trans is nothing to be ashamed of.  If you honestly don’t feel that way, then why did you transition in the first place?

I say it loud that I’m Black, trans and proud every day on this blog, at any panel discussion I’m privileged to be a part of around this nation and when I get the opportunity to do my speeches.  Hopefully I”ll get to do that on an international level one day.

And I’ll look damned good when I do so.

Your best defense as a hated upon marginalized group is to be visible, not cowering in the fetal position waiting to take blows from your oppressors.  So go on that shopping trip to the mall.   Join your local civic organization.  Take that walk around the block and say hello to you neighbors as you get your exercise in.   Join that local church.   Attend those city council and school board meetings and introduce yourself to your elected representatives   Go shake you butt at the club.  Live your life.

The late civil rights icon Dorothy Height said, “When you’re a Black won, you seldom get to do just what you want to do, you always do what you have to do.”

What we have to do is stand up, be proud of who we are, tell our stories and stand up for our human rights.  We can’t do that from a closet or locked behind a door in our room scared to walk around in the world.

And how do you stand up for your human rights?  By committing the revolutionary act of being fearlessly out and about in the world living your ordinary, everyday lives.

  • NotexceptingLGBT

    I don’t understand you ppl?? If you prefer to be of a different gender from what you were born, then why change? I hate to see the male transgender to a female with that hey girl attitude!! We don’t ack like that. WOMEN don’t force there sexual its it comes NATURAL. Now girls are boys, wtf!!! Taping chest down, smdh. Just be who you are. You don’t have to be gurlie or butchy, that’s so unattractive. It’s bad enough that you ppl are having sex to have children and raise them in the environment and later some become bi-sexual!!! There goes Leviticus of the BIBLE?? Buy you ppl attend church every Sunday like it’s ok and it’s NOT!! The world have enough problems without seeing you ppl or ur CAUS on tv. GO GET COUNSELING….my own opinion, they call that RIGHTS, caus it’s alot of wrong going on. All I can say STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY, WE DON’T ACCEPT GAYS, STAY BEHIND DOORS AND STOP EMBARRASSING YOURSELVES URE A JOKE…..COUNSELING GET SOME….

  • I’m a 23 year old MAAB college student and I publically present femme with clothing and accessories every day. I’ve only been on HRT for about a month so of course I don’t “pass” and everyone reads me as a guy in girl’s clothes. Often times I get weird looks and sometimes muttered comments. I see my actions as radical self acceptance and self love and I will never stop being who I am even if it means my death. I refuse to live in fear any longer. I hope my actions inspire other trans people in my area to be more open about who they are.

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  • Francis

    I have been beaten, molested, abused, and bullied because of my sexuality as well as my gender identity and expression. It started young, when kids would tease me for dressing and acting “like a boy”. I’ve had my bones broken and my dignity violated, and even now that I’ve been in a relatively accepting college for three years, I still get bullied (though less often), and I still have to fight to be accepted for who I am. I can tell you, through all that, nothing, no taunt, no physical pain, no abuse they can inflict hurt more than lying about who I am, than hiding in fear instead of being out and proud as a bisexual transguy. I can honestly tell you that lying and hiding hurts worse than anything others can inflict on you. I am understanding of those who aren’t ready to come out, and I don’t think you should feel ashamed of that: everyone’s circumstances are different. But know this: at least in my experience, and I can’t speak for others, but it seems the case for many: hiding who you are hurts worse than anything any bully can do to you. Just know you are never, ever alone, that there are people fighting for your rights every day, and we will welcome you with open arms if and when you are ready to join that fight. You are loved, you are stronger than you know, and deserve to be out and proud as who you are. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.

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  • RT @Arizona_Abby: From @Transgriot: Being Fearlessly Out & #Trans is a Revolutionary Act #guyslikeus #girlslikeus

  • Great post! Say it loud, I’m trans and I’m proud 😉

  • RT @Arizona_Abby: From @Transgriot: Being Fearlessly Out & #Trans is a Revolutionary Act #guyslikeus #girlslikeus

  • RT @KaraConnor: Being Fearlessly Out And Trans Is A Revolutionary Act:

  • Being Fearlessly Out And Trans Is A Revolutionary Act:

  • From @Transgriot: Being Fearlessly Out & #Trans is a Revolutionary Act #guyslikeus #girlslikeus

  • RT @transadvocate: Being Fearlessly Out And #Trans Is A Revolutionary Act: #girlslikeus

  • RT @transadvocate: Being Fearlessly Out And #Trans Is A Revolutionary Act: #girlslikeus

  • Thank you so much for writing this! It makes me a little sad that just being out is revolutionary for us, but at the same time it is true. I try to be out there changing hearts as much as possible in the hopes that the next generation won’t have it so rough. Here’s hoping! I’m a sufi transwoman and danged proud of it!

    Thank you for writing this!

  • You are beautiful, awesome and 100% right. It is an act of courage and thank you for saying it out loud.

  • Being Fearlessly Out and Trans is a Revolutionary Act:

  • I drive a cab on the 4pm to 4am shift in a Canadian city. I use my natural male sounding voice and I have been subject to being called he and sir by dispatchers for years after transition. I have passengers who refuse to get in the cab, verbally abuse and threaten me. I’ve been doing this job for 6 years and transitioned at work 5 years ago. No one is putting me back in that unbarable closet.