Sunday, November 22nd, 2020

Written Sunday, November 22, 2020

I try to say things, usually, to the widest audience I can - to the largest set of people who may be able to hear something from it all.

This one needs to be a little more focused.

This is for my trans sisters.


I don't know your name, or where you live, or what you look like, or how old you are.

But I know that none of those things can change what I want to tell you.

I don't know what you've been through, or what you're dealing with now, or what else is to come in the future.

But I know the path you're walking.

Maybe you've spent longer on this road than I have, or maybe you're not even sure this is your journey. I can't know any of that.

But I know the fear, the hesitation, the uncertainty, the frustration, the exhaustion, the pain and senseless hurt of it all.


I can't promise you it will get better, but I can promise you that it's worth trying.


The world is not ready for us. We are beyond the scope of what most of the humans on this planet are prepared to understand. It is getting better, and there are so many fighting to ensure that things continue to improve.

For right now, though, it's beyond tough.

We are questioned. Doubted. Dismissed. Erased.

Or worse.


I know what it feels like to not want to open my own front door, because I can't bear having to endure the looks of disgust and confusion from my own neighbors.

I know what it feels like to watch people's behavior towards me change - from professional, courteous, respectful - to condescending, rude, uncaring, even cruel... all for revealing the truth that I am in fact a woman.

I know the pain of watching people decide they no longer wish to treat me like a person because I'm not like them.

I know the confusion and the frustration of watching those people suddenly becoming defensive, making up excuses, even attempting outright gaslighting to cover their own sexist behavior, all the while denying that anything is even happening.

I know what it's like to be told to calm down because I dared to care about something.

I know what it's like to be told I am a monster, a predator, not even a person.

I know what it's like to be mocked, scorned, and treated like a melodramatic child for having the sheer audacity to ask someone to respect my identity.

I know what it's like to be treated that way because someone else in the room stood up for me when I could not.

I know what it's like to be told that my experiences can't be real, or valid, that it's all my imagination and I'm trying too hard to be someone I'm not.


My sister, I hope you do not know these things, and I hope you never will; but I cannot promise you that.

Chances are, you will face some or all of these, and more.

Chances are, you will find yourself out on the frontier of human experience, with only scattered hints of what is going on - grasping, much as I have, for anything and everything that feels like certainty and solidarity in the world.

I know it may not be much, but I hope this finds you, and I hope it adds something to the map we must all create.

For us. For each other. For those walking this road now, so that someday those who follow after us may be a little bit less lost.

Some people will travel with us, even though this journey is not their own. They are rare and precious. Find them. Thank them. Tell them to find others to go with us all.

I can't tell you how this journey ends; I barely know much of it, myself, and my route will be different than yours - in some big ways, and in some small ways too.


I can, however, tell you this:

You are worth it.


Travel forward, if and when you can.

Take a rest, when you need to - for as long as you need to.

Find and cherish those who can travel with you, even if it is only for a very short time.


The pain is real. The uncertainty is real. The hardship and the fear and the exhaustion are real.

No one else can tell us who we are.

No one else can tell us how we feel.


If this is your journey - whether you're barely even thinking about planting a foot onto this road, or many years along the path - you know something that no one else can know.

You know who you are, somewhere; it may be deeply buried, it may be hidden, and it may take extraordinary time and effort to make sense of it all. It may be hard for anyone else to see, and it may earn you mistreatment for showing it.


Trust yourself.

It won't always make sense. Sometimes it will genuinely be senseless. It's hard, out here, on the frontiers of human experience.

Stick together. And, if you can, leave signposts for the next set of travelers.