I wrote this on Facebook today...

Like many things, being "visible" can be a double-edged sword. People need to celebrate achievement, absolutely. The world is hard, so raise a glass to what has gone well.

On this Trans Day of Visibility, and maybe this is just me being me, but I can't help but wonder if being visible has been a good thing for the trans community. The human propensity to need to survive and thrive lives within us as well. But at what cost?

The longer one hangs around this planet, the more perspective one gains. I was born a white, middle-class male and had a childhood that was generally unburdened. I just had this piece of me that was "different" and after about 30 years I determined what exactly it was and accepted it. In doing so, I thrust myself into a distinct minority group.

And that group, while making strides, is also facing tremendous prejudice in many parts of the world. From what I gather, this is not unlike what has been faced by other groups, such as blacks, women and gay people. It seems like, and again, I can only peer out from my own rock, now it's the turn of trans people to fight to exist.

And I must say, it's scary as hell. I don't even really get out into the world as Shannyn yet, but as time passes, I feel more and more the fears of the group at large. I felt like the new federal government in the U.S. was interested in protecting us as they should all people, and I believe the administration to be trying. But I also see all the slings and arrows being tossed our way. I see what only looks like a hatred as states pass laws to deny transgender people, especially youth, their existence.

I ask you...if you woke up every day and fought yourself over WHY your heart and soul do not match your body, would that not be tiring? And I don't mean that as simply as you don't look like a model with perfect shape, hair and teeth. I mean DEEPER. Add to that being a child, brain not even fully formed, trying to get through school and peer pressure, not to mention things like a pandemic. And you are one of the lucky ones whose family accepts you...then you try to do something about the deep issues of your gender dysphoria....

Then you go to the doctor...if you manage to actually be believed, there are now laws that allow doctors to refuse to help you. But hey, at least you can be visible now, right? Hell, we got flags and pretty colors and everything.

I have not personally faced these denials yet...not that way. I have actually been blessed by acceptance, despite the struggles to do so from those closest to me. I am upset, and have been upset, by what I see happening to others like me. To CHILDREN. And my heart hurts over it.

It hurts enough to go on this little written rant, that will be seen by few. And understood by fewer. But maybe one person sees it and it's helpful enough for them to not only SEE trans people but stand behind them. That's what this day is about. See us for being good people. See us as humans. See as being worthy of inclusion and love. Don't see us as a TARGET.


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