Transgender Lives Matter

Biden can mention us, but the news will still leave us out.

I’m afraid nothing is going to change for transgender people. As great as having a Biden and Harris victory is, and as happy as I am for change, I feel like trans people are still going to be left in the dust.

It’s very telling that so few backed us when Rowling, a rich, cisgender, straight, white woman, started a debate about our identities, and the news treated it like celebrity drama for a few days rather than a vital civil rights issue. And many still consider transphobia acceptable because it’s too much effort to challenge someone they look up to. If this was racism, society would have a different tune. And I see so few sticking up for us when we need it. We get a statement.

That’s it. People give statements of support, but they don’t actually advocate for us. I genuinely want this to change, but I don’t have much hope.

We don’t have a big movement like everyone else does. We don’t have a lot of support or financial backing, and we don’t get coverage or outrage for transphobia. So few, if any, will protest for us and make it a nationwide issue. Celebrities and big YouTubers don’t organize charity drives for trans organizations.

I see other minority and oppressed groups with so much support. What about us? We’ve had our lives, healthcare, and basic rights threatened. Transgender people have been murdered at an exponentially frightening number just for existing, enjoying life, or trying to work. The news won’t talk about that. The news won’t say our names, or even the word transgender.

I’d like to ask why. Why isn’t transphobia as abhorrent as racism? Why isn’t it as horrible as homophobia? Why is it not as deplorable as sexism? Why is it something to be debated or excused simply because no one wants to make the effort to call it out? Do we mean nothing in America? Are we not included in the American dream that hasn’t existed for a while now?

This is not to belittle or take attention away from other important civil rights movements. Black Lives Matter. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, and disabled people need to be heard. But so do we. If America can focus on all that at once, why are transgender people dismissed as unimportant or too much work?

Stop the excuses. If you have any excuses to make, you’re part of the problem. If you condemn racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia, you can condemn transphobia.

We are dying. We are accepting the bare minimum. We are losing our jobs, homes, and rights. We cry and cheer for joy simply because a president elect said the word transgender.

America can do better than this. We’ll remember who supported us and who debated our existence. We’ll remember that while not many fought for us, we fought for them, and we’re exhausted.

©2020 Shane Blackheart