Learning to See Her


I’m not a celebrity, no one of notoriety, or even special accomplishment, except I am proud of being a Mom. I capitalize Mom because it is a title, a badge of honor I wear proudly. Sometimes I think I can stay silent, stay in my world, safe. Maybe there was a time when it seemed as if I could do so, a time when the leadership of the United States seemed to at least represent my interests and beliefs—some of the time? After all, that is what democracy is, sometimes a citizen’s candidate wins, and hopefully that candidate will serve the interests of as many constituents as possible. There is always disappointment, but some things are positive. So, I hope and believe in a better day – the next election – the next charismatic leader.

Sometimes a citizen’s candidate looses the race. Again, there is disappointment, sometimes huge disappointment, but never in my voting life of 34 years now have I felt the onset of panic or feelings of being really scared of the choices our national government and leaders were making. Disappointed and discouraged, yes, but I always believed our representatives would make the right choices eventually, that they would see reason.  Or, at least the majority of them would, if not my own representatives from Georgia. For the first time in my life, I am feeling truly disenfranchised—not heard.

But, have I truly been active in making my voice heard? No, I haven’t. Time to end the silence. I have something to say.

The New York Times in an article entitled, ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration, reports the efforts of the Trump administration, specifically the Department of Health and Human Services, to narrow the definition of gender by law as either male or female determined by sex organs. Further, if this definition is disputed, the person’s gender can only be defined by giving a DNA sample to determine gender.

This is frightening and “riddikulus” (Harry Potter reference) in the view of modern science in medicine and psychology along with the view of recognized authorities on transgender care such as the World Professional Organization for Transgender Health (WPATH). A person cannot simply be defined by DNA. People, humans are defined by the wholeness of their essence – their spirit, their personality, and their conscious mind. Who can determine the contents of a person’s mind? Is the government now going to define what we think? Who we are as individuals?

I am proud of my 14-year-old transgender daughter, in fact she is not transgender in my eyes, she is my daughter. Period. Defining gender as only male or female by law as determined by sex organs at birth and only disputable by providing DNA will deny my daughter’s liberty, her pursuit of happiness, her access to necessary healthcare, her very life! You might as well kill her. And then, you might as well kill me. It frankly brought tears to my eyes, and scared me to death for my daughter’s future, and many other precious kids and teens like her around the nation.

I have lived, cared and watched over her for 14 years, 3 months and 22 days, or approximately 5,193 days, or 122,632 hours as my precious daughter has grown, has matured, and has struggled with the pressures society has placed on her because of her birth gender—male.

I have watched her struggle and try to understand how she fit into the world being a girl in her mind and spirit when she was pigeonholed into a group based on her penis, a group she felt uncomfortable in. Most transgender kids and teens feel more comfortable being in a group based on the gender they identify with, in my daughter’s case, females. But the way schools are set up by birth assigned gender, she was forced into agonizing decisions, e.g., deciding not to eat or drink at school to avoid the boy’s bathroom, a place she felt agonizingly uncomfortable in.

Defining a person based on their genitals is as “reddikulus” as defining a women’s intellect and earning potential based solely on her vagina, or defining a human being based solely on the color of a person’s skin. Has society not grown beyond this simplicity? Have we not learned that humans are complex, that we are all intertwined with the same hopes and dreams for our futures—of living free—of pursuing our personal truths—that we all bleed red?!?!

What I wish for you to understand is that being transgender is an innate (from birth) makeup of a person’s being. It’s who they are, the same as who you are. You can no more take it from them than you can take the stars out of the night sky.

I speak for my daughter because she is a minor. The safer people feel, the more they will come forward, but transgender people will never be the majority in America as only a small portion of people have been identified as transgender (some studies put the number less than 1%, some say less than 3%). Therefore, it is the responsibility of our government to protect transgender Americans, not suppress them, not to force them to conform which is the same as killing them.

What kind of world will she grow up in? Her life is not disposable merely because she is not society’s norm! In fact, the reverse is true. She is a citizen of the United States of America. The first responsibility of the ruling majority is to protect the minority. Who are we as a nation if we are not protecting the minority? Have we become, or are we endanger of becoming what we fled from more than 200 years ago? Have we learned nothing from the civil rights movement?

We simply refuse to go back to the dark. Is that really what we want for our nation anyway, for the world? Are we going to give in to fear? Really? Are you really afraid of my sweet, amazing, precious child of what she is, of what she will become? What if she and those like her save the world?

#wontbeerased #transrightsarehumanrigts #transisbeautiful

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