Here’s something that I’ve known for a while, but have been loathe to really accept (and btw, please hear me out before you decide I’m wrong and bad):
The fundiegelicals kinda have a point when they say that us queer folks are “destroying” marriage, gender, and the traditional family. Yes, it’s true that gay marriage won’t cause straight divorce, and that transitioning won’t suddenly turn cis people trans, and that the existence of nonbinary people won’t make binary genders suddenly stop existing, etc. etc. but the point is that we are breaking these systems’ coercive power. And that scares heteropatriarchs, as well it should.
We are, as little light has it (and no, I will never ever stop linking to that essay), monsters: corrupting all that is Holy and True and Eternal, transforming it into the frightening, the shifting, the arbitrary and ephemeral and selfish. We are people who refuse to be oppressed by gender; we are people who claim it as our own and decide for ourselves what it means. We don’t want to destroy it (as some do); we want to repurpose it, to use its power to help ourselves and our own rather than to oppress others. And we’re succeeding — which is what scares our enemies most of all.
So… if we have all this power, why do so many of us fall back into assimilationist placation strategies? Why are so many of us still “so afraid of our fearsomeness that we fear everything and everyone else right back”?
It’s just… so easy, when you’re staring down bigotry from powerful people, to want to try to placate them, to want to tell them that no, I’m really just like you, and my existence isn’t going to threaten society at all, so you don’t have to worry because all I really want is to be left alone. How many times have I told that lie, in order to protect myself? How many more times will I? How much longer will I be playing this part before I finally accept myself as a monster?
I still have a long way to go. It’s a process — and the cruel thing is that sometimes it’s a process I have to slow in order to survive. I may be a fearsome monster, but I’m a fearsome monster surrounded by torches and pitchforks, and there are more of them than there are of me.
Which is why, I think, it’s so important for us to embrace each other, especially the most vulnerable among us, and not to just look out for ourselves. One of us may not be able to face the world alone. But all of us together? Oh, just let them try to bring us down. They can’t win.
To my fellow trans* people, those who are afraid of our enemies as we all sometimes are, know this: I am with you. My ask box is open, and I will support you in any way I can. Know this also: You are incredible simply for having acknowledged yourself, for having had the courage and strength of will to refuse to take the place that society gave you, and instead to carve out a place in the world that fits you. Like any creature faced by something multiple times its size, they are more scared of us than we are of them. They can hurt us, they can kill us, but in the end, there are too many of us and we’re far too strong. We will win this, if we can learn to embrace ourselves and each other.