Equality starts with acceptance. I grew up after the civil rights movement in a family of multiple racial identities. So I know that our differences don’t need to segregate us. MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech may not have included little trans boys and little queer girls holding hands with children of different colors and abilities, but nowadays it should. I admit that when I was younger I fell into the trap of believing that people who wanted to be a different gender were freaks. Hmmm, I wonder where that came from? Like you, I picked up things from adults, messages in the media, and raunchy playground jokes.
But now I know better. I know that not only do I feel comfortable around people who are different from me, but that all people should be treated with kindness and have equal rights. I refuse to deny rights to anyone simply based on their gender or how they express their sexuality, just as I would not deny someone rights based on their skin color or nationality. There’s no “I love America/God said so and so is going to hell” hate speech on this blog.
This weekend I attended Guerilla Pride 2014 in San Diego at the Canvass for a Cause house. It was a comfortable experience. I met so many nice people of different backgrounds and saw some people I already know and like. My favorite part was a talk by a young man named J. who is undocumented and queer. He gave a moving speech about what it’s like to grow up and not just be afraid of being outed or being deported, but both. He described his own experience, which is different for every person, with such emotion and detail that I was enthralled during his 1 hour talk which included a Q&A discussion. Learn more at CanvassforaCause.org
I recommend attending different cultural events in your community with an intent to listen. Ask questions if you must, but simply attending events (whether it’s Pride or the local Inter-Tribal Pow Wow) and allowing yourself to keep your ears open and your mouth shut is a chance to expand your mind and learn about all the amazing people our planet contains.
For your convenience, here are a couple of articles to enjoy, expand on and share. Sharing is caring! 😉
Check out CeCe McDonald’s list of myths about trans women http://www.policymic.com/articles/89735/cece-mcdonald-shuts-down-7-lies-we-tell-about-trans-women
Ending the justification of oppressing trans people http://everydayfeminism.com/2012/08/myths-about-transgender-people/
.…. If you like this blog, check out my books and art at Leahis.com ….
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