As a transgender child, my friend Shane felt alone and isolated while living in our small Nebraska city. she searched for people like her because she believed she was the only transgendered kid in this part of the state. Thankfully, her mother and brother fully supported her well-being. They never let Shane forget that she was loved. Despite her loving family’s efforts, Shane could barely wait to leave Nebraska. Today, she lives in Toronto, Ontario. She has found a vibrant, close-knit, extended family of allies.
As we pay attention to the state of human rights these days, we notice how transgender children, adolescents, and adults are mistreated. What is especially troubling is how some parents treat their LGBTQ children. It’s shocking how some parents toss their young children out of the home and force them fend for themselves. What happened to showing your children unconditional love? This is an especially heartbreaking problem across America and much of the rest of the world.
To add further harm, politicians, religious leaders, and radical activists push for discriminatory laws and rules that work against the basic human rights of transgender people. This cruelty is purposely designed to score points in the political game. Transgender people face misunderstanding and discrimination in the first place. Making them political footballs is especially egregious. Such cruelty is deliberate.
Shane tells me that being transgender is not limited to medical classifications, procedures, and psychology. It is a spiritual state of being. To accept her own transgender qualities has been a beautiful process of discovery. The basic necessity of loving oneself for who one is, really is key. This love must be fortified in this world of bullying and political machinations.
People who know Shane personally, know that she’s articulate, cavalier, fun, outspoken, and a bit impatient. She participates in the theatre community, does a little bit of fashion modeling, all the while being an advocate and activist in the LGBTQ community.
For transgender people, wherever they live, it’s important to let them know they are not alone. They should not be afraid to step out of their anonymity. Transgender individuals have human trials and tribulations that are difficult enough on their own. They have hobbies, jobs, and interests like everyone else. To add discrimination and cruelty into the mix is unconscionable.
Someday, hopefully soon, there will be a time when people are not subject to discrimination and violence for simply being who they are. It’s not so much about conventional gender, transgender, and so on; it’s about accepting people regardless of gender and orientation. There are amazing people who just happen to be transgender. That’s a good thing. Straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people are people–period.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes activist, actor, and fashion model, Rain Dove Dubilewski. “When I walk down the street in a dress, people think I’m transgender. The issue isn’t that I’m embarrassed to be thought of as transgender: the issue is that people treat transgender individuals so violently, especially if they think it’s male to female.”
Isn’t the world a more beautiful, interesting place when we love and admire each other? One of my employees was gender non conforming (as is my eldest child though the she/her pronouns are what she has settled on)… and I hear (several years on) has decided to transition. They are gifted in working with children, big-hearted, and supported by a wonderful family. They were a leader on my team and loved universally by our staff and the kids we served.
Absolutely! Allowing people to manifest their true selves brings growth and benefit for all of us.
Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News.
I’m glad to read your friend found a welcoming community where she can thrive. My brother lives in Toronto and I’ve visited many times, even joining the Pride Parade one year. It’s an accepting place.
Yes. Toronto is an incredibly diverse city. I’ve visited a couple of times and fell in love with the area.