Today I Mourn

Today I mourn

Today I mourn my fallen siblings

Killed by the hate that kept them trapped

In a world not kind

To those whose genders come from beyond

What cruel folks call

“Normal human”

Today I mourn

For my trans siblings

Who failed to meet 

Cis comprehension 

Whose lives were taken

In acts of hate

Today I mourn trans siblings killed

By those with whom 

They tried to share

Their hearts, their love

Today I mourn 

Those trans siblings lost

To their own hands

And to a violence

Made by the hate 

Of a world

That refused to understand

And bullied them

‘Till they could not stand

Another night, another day

Of ceaseless senseless pain

Today I mourn

Today I mourn

Today I mourn 

But I will not forget

The light that my trans siblings brought 

To this, our world

Today I mourn

But take what strength I have

And battle on against that tide

Of fearful retribution 

With my fire

I will turn that tide

To a glowing mist 

Of kaleidoscopic and multitudinous glory

Of gender claimed

And fought so hard for

I will try to share

With all who’ll listen

My tale of struggle

That is not mine alone

This valiant struggle to set all

Whose  gender strays

From what’s expected 

Free at last

So that this list of the dead that grows

Each passing year

Will one day end

And all human lives can be lived

In freedom and in peace

So that all humanity 

Can live unchained 

In celebration of one another’s glory

Today I mourn

But I will not forget

To do my part

To fix this world

So that none shall mourn

Like this again

Today I mourn

Those lights who shined

But all too briefly 

Today I mourn

My trans siblings

Whose souls fell like autumn’s leaves 

Sinking to cover

The graves of the lost

Today I mourn

But my hope grows

Out of the pain

And into the light

Today I mourn

Today I mourn

Today I mourn

But I will not cease to fight

Today I mourn

And today I remember 

All of my siblings killed

Because they were transgender

Today I Mourn

The T is the LGB!

Recently a petition has been circulating on change.org calling for organizations like GLAAD, The Human Rights Campaign, The Advocate and Huffington Post Gay Voices to drop the T from the LGBT. The petition was supposedly started by a consortium of L, G and B folks who feel that the T is a destructive ideological distraction that negatively impacts women, gay men and of course children. Many of the organizations being petitioned have already come out in full support of trans inclusion. There is even a counter petition that has garnered more signatures that stands with trans people.

That is as it should be, because the T is the most essential part of the acronym. All of the hatred and fear gay men, bisexuals and lesbians face is gender-based hatred. They have stepped outside of what is expected of their assigned gender. They are a prime example of gender variance. Not as obvious as trans folk, sure, but that is what they are, gender-variant siblings. Trans folk have been at the forefront of the LGBT movement from the get go. We have a harder time passing as any kind of cis or hetero normative individual. We are also as likely, if not more so, to be mixed into the rest of the acronym. When your very body defies gender norms it is very difficult to define when exactly you are having hetero or homosexual relationships. Especially for the nonbinary trans people and intersex folks who refuse to submit to cis standards.

We are the smallest minority and among the most vulnerable. We face having our basic human dignity denied every day and our basic human rights ignored. We are seen as a “social experiment” or as child predators, rapists and generally perverted people. We are brutally murdered for existing and driven to suicide by a world that shuns us. Why? Because even though we were born this way the world refuses to understand. Now that certain cis folk are getting the rights that they deserve they feel the war is won. Just like at the beginning of the movement a selfish minority wants to suppress the more obviously gender variant in our number. Feminine gay men are still attacked from within their communities as are feminine lesbians. Why? Misogyny, plain and simple.

Masculinity is forever seen as a pillar of strength (phallic symbol deliberately chosen) in our society. Femininity is the quivering, irrational weakness to be fought against. That is the real crux of the matter. The very idea that there are only two genders and that they are in opposition. They are in fact part of a cohesive whole and the place where they touch is full of endless variety. 

In conclusion, trans people are everywhere and everyone. We are men, women and children. We are lesbians. We are gay men. We are bisexuals. We are homeless sex workers. We are drag performers. We are academics. We are doctors. We are janitors. We are an intrinsic part of humanity that has been burned and murdered alongside our suffering siblings since the beginning of history. We are all siblings and we should all sit at the table together and partake of the feast, celebrating the joy of our diversity instead of badgering one another in the name of hegemony. Submitting to the fear and hatred that has oppressed gender variation in western society for so long is not an option any more and there is no stopping half way through the war for freedom. 

The T is the LGB!

Coming Out Day

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Hello friends! Today marks my first National Coming Out Day, I have been living my life openly as a trans woman for just around eight months. It was almost exactly eight months ago to the day that I reached self acceptance. My journal says that moment took from February 11-14.

That was a massive week for me. Finally accepting that I could not hide who I am any longer and beginning to work towards being able to like myself. A few weeks later I slowly told the folks around me my deepest truth and my life of the lie evaporated at last. I was free…

What have I gained? The world friends, I have gained the world. I can enjoy my existence again. I can love those around me unconditionally and without envy or personal discomfort. I can love myself. I can look in a mirror and instantly recognize the woman grinning like a twit as being me. I know, trust and inhabit my own body and mind in full now! I have gained the simple pleasures of knowing who I am and being happy in that.

If I have learned anything in these months of transition it is do not run from your fears. Do not hold your feelings in check, suppressed to the point that you have forgotten they were there. Face your fears, whatever they may be. If you don’t it may well kill you but it will certainly detract from your days. We have so few days, don’t we deserve to live them in full? My every moment was once a haunted mess. Now those moments are savored. Every human being deserves that.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness right?

The more folks that share with the world how they are not part of the assumed hetero-cis-normative standard the more actual lives will be saved and the richer the human experience will become. If you are LGBTQ, it is okay honey! You can be yourself. People will love you and you can have a life worth living. It is going to be good, trust me, trust yourself. If you are hetero and or cis then please think about the things you say, the narratives you embrace, the culture and standards you uphold. Make space in the world for those of us who haven’t had the good fortune to be born into a world designed for us. Once that space becomes commonplace it won’t be so potentially painful or dangerous to be LGBTQ, it will be so humdrum. The onus is on us all to change ourselves, our assumptions and our society to fit all good people. To judge them “…by the content of their character.” as one civil rights leader once hoped.
This is my first National Coming Out Day as a trans woman, but it will not be my last. Thank you again to everyone who has welcomed me. You have helped make this year what I had always hoped it could be.

And one more thing…TRANS PRIDE!!

Coming Out Day