Trans Under Attack

Submitted on Nov 26, 2015 by  tj30trust

It's such a recurring theme that I have to calm down before actually sitting down to blog. I have to make it known that even I face adversity and people should realize that I am a person. I'm humbly asking you to stop compartmentalizing me and see that I am a fellow human being. My being transgender is constantly under a secret attack. I've often said that I don't upset the gender binary, but that is a misleading statement and a half-truth.

I have found that I upset the African-American cisgender female community more so than anything. I am not saying that all Black non-trans women are insecure. I am speaking from experience about who it has been to inadvertently put me in danger of possible violence because they are threatened by my looks. I can't stress it enough that I am not the enemy. I don't want what you have because I want my own. As a transgender woman living in Arkansas, I have had several discreet relationships or encounters because I don't want to expose too much of myself. I speak openly about the fact that I am transgender and a person living with HIV, but my relationship is nobody's business. What I have done to my body is nobody's business but the man I choose to be intimate with. Yet, these women whom I have worked around could not stand the fact that a Black non-trans man actually flirted with me or sometimes just spoke to me or asked if I was okay. The point is, no matter what amount of interaction I have had with Black non-trans men, it has always been a Black non-trans woman who felt duty bound to inform him of my trans* status. But what happens after doing that? Was that ever in your thought process?

I ask that because I truly want to know if there are people whom I have encountered who care so little about another individual's safety that they purposefully wish death upon them. These men could have hurt me and I would have been none the wiser as to why. I am not ignorant to the fact that some men who find themselves attracted to a trans* woman and learn of her trans status become irate and want to or actually inflict bodily harm upon her. Did you ever think that this man would do anything even remotely like this to me because you went searching on social media and think you discovered some truths about me that I didn't talk about? Did you ever stop to think that I have disclosed so much about me so that I won't have to continue saying the same thing? I am not hiding anything about me. I have embraced who I am and I am unapologetically trans. I will go on to say that these acts of violence are completely unnecessary because I'm not after anything that these women have wanted.

In the same work environment, a Latina non-trans woman refused to accept that my name changed legally and would not acknowledge my gender identity. In her eyes, I was a man and there was no two ways about it. I respected that. I was angry because I had never had any confrontations with her, yet she was speaking badly of me without provocation. When I learned of her feelings, I stopped all communication. I did so because I wanted to send a clear message that I won't put anyone in an uncomfortable position of having to degrade themselves by being nice to me. I know how you feel, and I will stay away from you after I tell you that I see you for the colossal hypocrite you are and leave it with you. You never have to wonder if I don't like you from that point on because you already know what it is. How do I overcome such abuse? I call you out on it and let you know that we are done.

I truly believe that if people would stop compartmentalizing my identity, while simultaneously attacking my character and integrity, they could see that I am a person. What they have done to me has caused some transgender people to take their own lives and also put others in danger of being harmed. I can't help who finds me attractive and flirts with me. What I can control is who I choose to interact with. Furthermore, if I interact with anyone on an intimate level, they will know who I am beforehand. It's likely that these women still won't understand what it is that they are doing. I want to paint a clear picture. What if these men felt angry that their masculinity was being questioned and felt they needed to prove themselves? How would they go about doing it? Think before you speak and know that by disclosing one's trans* status, you are actually endangering them to be subjects of retaliation. We are people who deserve the right to be here just as much as anyone else.

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