Today (March 31) is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. This is the tenth anniversary of this day, which is intended to highlight trans people of all stripes worldwide, as well as the accomplishments we’ve made and the difficulties we still face.
For sure, it’s good that in recent years the trans community has made so many positive advancements. As well, it’s great to see positive representations of our community (the TV series Pose, for one). These have helped foster a much-needed acceptance of us by those in the cis-gender community.
But for all our personal and collective gains, modest or otherwise, there have been equal amounts of disgust backlash toward us, especially from the extreme portions of the politically and culturally conservative corners. Just one example is the “mission” of You Know Who and his cronies to prevent trans service members from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.
It’s anti-trans attitudes like these that still makes the need for cis-gender allies all the more greater. The activist Miss Major said it best in a Twitter video that went viral this week, stating that those who care for our community are “the people who need to become more visible.” In other words, we need allies to stand up and tell the dismissive world that we’re not the pariahs the closed-minded think we are.
The following poem is inspired by TDOV; the anti-trans attitudes that sadly still linger; the need for cis-gender allies to come out from their closets, so to speak, and stand up for us; and to a lesser extent, the news this week that there will be no LGBT+ pride parade here in Madison this summer. Again, we’re not evil or deviant. It’s just that the rest of the world still needs to recognize that and stand to our defense.
I still need to take this stand
And remind you of who I am
I’m not what that certificate says I am
But I am still more than that
I can do so many things
Build buildings, fly planes
Or put out flames
Even run a mile in 10 minutes flat
I can be a pilot or a poet
For too long, I’ve been flat on my face
But I getting back into the race
With the help of allies who’ll be my friends
I can stand and deliver
I can serve and protect
I can fight to defend your freedoms
But Lord knows that I’m in need of them
We are one nation, indivisible
But I can’t be invisible
I’m human, can’t you see?
Why can’t you and others get get past my identity?
You only want an explanation
As to my gender identification
Why such the rush?
Does it matter to you where I flush?
I may be a guy or girl
Or somewhere in the middle
My identity shouldn’t be a riddle
Really, why can’t you see that?
I don’t blame the doctors who had to write down
That I was only one gender
The day into this world I entered
But since then, I know I don’t define as that
There’s no need for examination
I live my life not as a fabrication
I don’t need your interrogation
So put away your spotlight
Help me make this stand
Please take my hand
And let’s tell this land
That for trans rights, we must fight
Don’t wish us into a cornfield
Or put barricades before us
Be our allies, and forward let’s thrust
Across this great, yet still terrifying, land
Let’s have vision of persistence
Against those who still deny and resist us
Remind them that we’re not just trans, but also human
And always and forever part of our Maker’s plan
So, please take my hand
And together, you and I
We’ll make this stand