Your wrecking ball is my opportunity to become stronger.
Donald Trump was inaugurated today. After the election and depression that followed, I sunk into a state of denial – surely, a greater force- some higher justice would not let this man into a position of power, right? As I sit here unable to look away from the TV, it is clear, Donald Trump is most officially our President.
It was as if anything I’d known or been taught as a child, ceased to exist. Do onto others as you want to have done to you. Isn’t that the golden rule? Our President of the United States is a man who condones and even instigates and encourages violence and racism. How has this kind of hatred become OK? It’s not even about politics anymore, it’s about being human.
Nowhere near enough progress has been made in human rights, yet he wants to regress. My heart hurts for all the people that will be affected by his policy and rhetoric- those who will lose their children, those who will face condoned discrimination and hate, those whose civil rights and protections will be ripped away.
With Donald Trump in power, what does this mean for transgender people? What a scary time to be trans. With people like him in this world, who would ever want to be trans, let alone, have to come out and face transition in a world of turmoil? It is a terrifying thought. I don’t want to be a toss-away in a world where cruelty has become the norm.
And how can I call myself a man? That “man” is a misogynistic and homophobic racist. I cringe at the thought of being lumped into any category with him or any man like him. I would feel like a traitor to every woman, abandoning everything beautiful and precious about being a woman and standing in solidarity with them. By calling myself a man, there exists the stinging guilt of betrayal to all woman-kind- guilt that I’ve let them down and abandoned them to go to “the other side”.
Four years passed since writing that. While the threat of discrimination and harm, continue to loom over our heads, I read that journal entry, and while I feel sadness and anger, I also feel empowered. Empowered because I didn’t let him or anybody stop me from living my truth. Me and so many other transgender people will persevere. No doubt Trump and his laws will make our existence harder but they will never erase us.
This world needs more transgender people who have walked in more than one shoe to bring an abundance of understanding and compassion to the daily exchanges between men, women, and non-binary people. Perhaps it wasn’t my attachment to being a woman that I held on to, but rather, the fear of being stereotyped negatively as a man, that held me back.
In January of 2016, I never could have fathomed the chaos and continuing injustice of 2020 but looking back over the past four years, I realize that every day I made a conscious choice of what kind of man I wanted to be. It is through that kind of conscious intention that humans grow to change the world. I became an even bigger advocate of women because I can lead other men by example and even more, defy all those expectations and stereotypes of what it means to “be a man” and stop the further polarization of men and women.
I am the change that I want to see in this world. WE can be the change we want to see in this world.