This morning I took public transportation to work. Anytime I get on to a new bus or train I always scan the seats and exits. I’m always surveying what others are holding in their hands and what they might be concealing. Every time I am with the general public my sense of fear far outgrows my self confidence. I have been chased and threatened before. I have been beat up and left out. And why? Because I do not fit into the socially acceptable normalcy of America. I am a transman. I am a transman. I AM A TRANSMAN. What about that statement makes you uncomfortable? Why does how I feel and look, affect how you will react?
If your someone who also holds fear of the public, then you will also know what its like to hate and love the rules that govern us.
Take for example:
1. Never looking another man directly in the eye unless your speaking to them
2. Blend in with the background
3. Do not bring attention to yourself
4. telling your loud mouth friend to stuff it
5. Bite your tongue, patience could just save your life.
I live by these rules in public. The only rule I have to be lenient on is #4, because my wife (bless her) has no filter for the most part. She feels comfortable in areas with large amount of people of color. While she is in slight danger since she is female and female identified, she does not have the same sense of fear that I have which is something that we both have to work on. Besides that fact, and as I said before, I am always surveying the space I am in. I work in public safety, but once I take off my uniform I feel like a penguin in the Bahamas.
The Huffington Post published this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretchen-peters/if-you-knew-him_b_2154652.html
As Gretchen Peters puts it: “I want to believe that those poor, damned souls who took the lives of the sons and daughters we memorialize this Tuesday were driven by intense fear and self-loathing. I want to believe that their and our brokenness can be healed. I want to believe that we can change the staggeringly high suicide rate among trans people, a statistic that haunts every parent who’s been in my shoes. I do believe that the only way to make this better is to shine a light where no light has been. I believe that by publicly grieving those who’ve died through bigotry and hate, we take a first step toward eradicating it. And when I’m meditating on those lives lost this Nov. 20, I’ll also be sending up a prayer for the “transparents,” that they will never have to know that grief. ”
Lastly, I leave you with one last note: Be safe, be loved, and be human.