Liberty and justice for all – America’s founding principles. Oh, how so easily we make exceptions when we’re presented with people, situations, and ideas that appear to make us uncomfortable. I think it’s safe to say that, “We the people…,” isn’t as inclusive as Gouverneur Morris planned. The same flag you forbid and arrest individuals from stomping on is the same flag you’ve wrapped around our necks. Yet, in spite of the red and white striped strangulation we still look to the blue sectional stars with hope and grace, praying for a “One day…”
Ladies and gentlemen, we have an epidemic on our hands. A war on our own American soil.
“There are 29 states where you can be fired for your gender identity.”
“There are 15,000+ transgender individuals serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, but they are not allowed to serve openly. There are 134,000+ transgender veterans.”
-Williams Institute, 2014
“Trans women have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered, or a 1 in 8 chance if they are a woman of color.”
-Trans Student Equity Resources, 2013
“700,000+ adults in the US identify as transgender, but are invisible in federal data collection efforts.”
-Williams Institute, 2011
The amount of statistics illustrative of the Trans community is so scarce year-to-year due to the obvious societal labeling of Trans individuals as objects instead of people. Well, what do you say to the woman that’s been sentenced to a male prison because she was born a male? Do you tell her that her continuous rape and beatings by other inmates are her fault because she shouldn’t have done anything to be in that predicament? What if the primary and sole reason she’s in there is because the officer who arrested her shared the same views on her lifestyle as you do? Trying to get America to understand #TransLivesMatter is equivalent an effort, if not worse, to trying to get Caucasians to understand the true meaning of #BlackLivesMatter. Just because we are trying to get you to realize we matter, doesn’t mean you don’t because you were always the one entitled to importance. You can’t #StayWoke if you were never awake, but I guess what’s also equally complicated are the acts of being knowledgeable and respectful despite our differences. So imagine the struggle of the individuals who stand for both causes. Sheesh! Are American people that self-centered and afraid that they would rather be ignorant than inclusive, or even aware?
Recently, hundreds of people boycotted businesses like Target for allowing the transgender community to use whichever bathroom they identified themselves with. Ridiculously enough, you have allowed your modern-day, grown-up version of “cooties” to get in the way of a company’s business (or so you thought) in hopes that they’ll make you feel better and reverse their stance as a result of your hissy fit – but allow me to ask you a few rhetorical questions that hopefully spark some thought. If a man, like the incredibly handsome Trans model Laith Ashley, appeared in a woman’s bathroom because that’s what he was born, wouldn’t you look twice? In some cases, wouldn’t you think you had the wrong restroom, or even initially be creeped out and leave because you think it’s a rapist/pervert in the bathroom? If your daughter is in the bathroom with you, wouldn’t she be thinking “stranger, danger?” Precisely, how much time do you actually have on your hands to study someone while in the bathroom to know if they are originally a man/woman in the physical sense - because transsexual surgeries have truly proved themselves to be a remarkable thing? Let’s imagine the beautiful Amiyah Scott (before you knew who she was) in the men’s bathroom and honestly tell me what you think a man’s first thought would be?
The transgender community has been placed on a retractable leash by society. They will let you wander freely in close proximity, but when you begin to go too far, they’ll pull you right back into the box they’ve built for you and remind you of your limits. They want you to be yourself, but they don’t want their kids to see. They want you to accept and love yourself for who you are, just use your own bathroom at home. This appears to be the divine explanation of conditional freedom, but I want to allow this epidemic to be transparent. This war is also rotten from the core. There is an unspeakable division of those within the community, yet there is no hyphen or any other accent of separation between “LGB” & “T.” Until the rest of the community realizes our neglectful actions against our own family due to our own exclusion errors, we can never start to help them fight the bigger battle and they’ll continue to have to fight it alone.
Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. But what happens when the brave aren’t free?