Your Cisgender* Privilege Does Not Entitle You to Heartless Ignorance

My thoughts the day after Valentine's.

I see so much judgement out there and it strikes me that the older one is as a transgender person, the harsher that judgement seems to be.

It's as if people's attitude is, "You've lived with this up to now and it's too late for you to start making changes that make me uncomfortable, just take it with you to the grave and don't rock my boat!" 

Though it delights me to no end that transgender children are embraced with compassion and empathy when they transition socially, there is definitely a double standard when it comes to us who are older. 

Why can't society extend the same level of understanding to those who transition later in life? These are the ones who have "suffered" the longest with gender dysphoria and have significantly more challenges reworking their matured bodies to finally be able to experience congruence as persons. It makes no sense to me. 

Sharing our transgender stories is therefore important; it is perhaps selfish and immoral for us who have transitioned with some modicum of success to aspire to a stealth existence. Until all transgender persons are free to be who they are and have affordable access to those services which can help them to transition medically and surgically, we must stand up and be counted. Change can not happen unless people get educated about what it means to be transgender. 

Your cisgender privilege does not entitle you to heartless ignorance.

Simply put, "Cisgender" refers to anyone in the 99.5% of the population, whether you're straight or gay, who have never felt trapped in the wrong body or questioned your gender identity.

I met these three trans women at Charlotte Pride 2011. I have blocked their eyes to protect their privacy. The three of them stood out in the crowd, not only because they were each over six feet tall, but because it was obvious to all that they were trans. I learned their stories and I was heart broken. Only one of them was living full time and the only reason was because she was now retired and didn't have to worry about getting fired from her job. The other two knew that if they transitioned, they would loose everything, job, family, church, reputation, etc. Here they were, one day out of the year where they could afford themselves the chance to be themselves safely. All three lacked the financial ability to access the help and services they so desperately needed. They were gentle, sweet souls.

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