Love is Love.
Hate is Hate.
Friendship is Friendship.
Blood is Blood.
Tonight, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and read a status from my cousin that blindside me.
The status: “Transexual shit is outta hand…. if I see any of you niggas thats my peoples wearing girl clothes…. no fakin… ima shoot yo asz.”
“Why? Why the hate? Seriously cousin, my life is populated with transfolk who are my friends and who I love in solidarity for our shared experience in this world of ignorance, violence, discrimination, dehumanization. Too many of my people are killed to let this status slide. If you can’t be an ally, please don’t perpetrate violence against us. Maybe you can just say you don’t want us to be part of your life. You can’t be a friend to one of your people if they are wearing girls clothes. No need to shoot them, possibly ending a life when life is so fucking challenging as is.
My mom hasn’t spoken to me in over 4 years. If I’m at my Aunt’s house she’ll honk the car horn for my Aunt to come out. She hasn’t come to Thanksgiving in 3 years. My cousins miss her. She’s missing out on all the babies growing up. When my grandmother died she had the family come over to her place instead of my Aunt’s house because I was staying with my Aunt and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with me. It makes me sad but this is how it is. I’m alive only because I transitioned. That’s real. I’m only here because I took steps to make a life for myself that I can live. And I can live with it. And my life is precious. I wouldn’t want someone to kill me because I am who I am.
One other thing, I have one other cousin who this past summer called me “It” repeatedly and said “He ought to beat that thing’s (me) ass. My Aunt and my cousin stepped in and my cousin who stepped in got hurt. The cousin who doesn’t see me as a person anymore is not welcome in my Aunt’s house if he only has words/threats of violence towards me. My point is, I’m your family. Any of your people/niggaz who are transsexual/transgender/cross dressers are people with people who love them. Our lives are valuable and we are here for a reason. If you can’t show compassion, just please don’t harm us.”
I feel upset. Raw. Tense. Angry. Sad. Frustrated. Strong.
I wish I could’ve been more eloquent? in my response but it is what it is. My emotions are all over the place and it’s 2 in the morning. I haven’t been sleeping well the last couple days. School stress. I haven’t done any homework this week so far and have finished very little reading. I have until Sunday so it’ll be okay. I’ll get what I need to do done. I’m concerned about my relationship and about money. But there are many positive things happening too. I am surrounded by family that loves me. My Aunt, Uncle, and cousin are people who I spend most of my time with. I am dancing with them, cooking with them, watching movies and tv shows. They bring goodness to my life and I am grateful for them. I get payed tomorrow! Woot!I go back to work next week! I’ll be back in my place this weekend. Home sweet home. I actually have my own space. I am grateful for that.
I don’t really know what to do when confronted with blatant hate and transphobia. Especially when it’s from family members. I want to say that my cousin is not a bad person. So I’ll say it. He is not a bad person at all. He is tenderhearted. He’s a father to a kid who isn’t his biological kid and he is a father to his daughters who he loves and takes care of. He’s an artist and entrepreneur. A guy who loves his mom so much. I’m glad to know him. I love him. I just couldn’t let his status slide. I had to say something. (In the past I’ve had to delete another cousin from my Facebook. That was years ago, during the first year of my transition and she was really disrespect to me). I don’t think I’ll be deleting him. Two of my other cousins liked his status. That makes me sad too. But I’ve done what I could. I’ve said what I needed to say and I feel good about that. I feel a lot of things (so much) and surprisingly one of the things I feel is strong. Justified. Loving. I love myself and I love that I found the courage to transition. And I love all the folks who are non-traditional in their experiences, and with their gender presentation(s) and expression(s).
I’m not particularly active in the Trans community here in San Diego. I was more active early on in transition but I knew and told my friends that one day I wouldn’t be around as much. My life isn’t all about being trans. My main identity right now is student. My other primary identities/realities are friend and family member. The way I show my solidarity with the Trans community is simple. My advocacy is simple (not easy) and doable for me. I’m out in my day to day life. I’m an ally to myself and others. If transphobic stuff is said around me I speak up. I do panels at my school and other local Universities, such as UCSD and SDSU. I will out myself when I feel it is necessary. It is important to me for people to know that they do know someone who is trans. We’re not an abstract. I am a living, breathing human being, a child of love and light, with dreams, desires, and issues that go along with being alive on this planet at this time. All I’m saying is that I want people to know that we’re people too. We have feelings and we have a right to live our lives without the threat and reality of the violence and hatred that plagues our community.