What I've found in my practice is that these identities that we hold-- TGIQ or otherwise, they don't have a causal relationship with our mental health challenges. However, the shame, stigma, and discrimination that we face on a day to day minute to minute basis-- those do. We talk about microaggressions, but can we really delineate micro from macro? Can our systems parse out little stressors that we tap into as we navigate the world for our safety from the big stressors of what could possibly happen if we read those signs wrong? We have intersections that become points of stress and strain compromising the foundations of our architecture. We suffer from the complex trauma of lives lived in a fight for our sheer existence.
We, of course, must continue to work to decrease these meeting points of stress and strain on a widespread systemic level. Until the time that the load on us lightens, one way that we can combat these negative messages out in the world is through having positive reflections of ourselves. This can range from challenging to impossible for marginalized communities where visibility and safety can sometimes be mutually exclusive places. This is why events like Trans Day of Visibility are so important and why we must work extra hard to see, be kind, and uplift each other out in the world.
There are benefits to this, but it is also a hustle. How about today we respect and honor the existence of trans people and let them take a rest. Let them get back to surviving. They are existing in a world that doesn't always make space for them.
"How about today we respect and honor the existence of trans people and let them take a rest."
I for one feel really grateful to be in a field of work and community where I get to witness the best of human resilience. None of us are entitled to this inspiration, but it's out there if we're ready to see it.
To my fabulous and fierce Trans Community (and those that have had trans experiences/journeys), whether or not you identify amongst our ranks, rest today.
Just be. Take care, take heart, and know you are seen.
That is so much more than enough.