My friend Mahra e-mailed the following video link to me today. It is totally worth sharing all on its own. But the subtext as it applies to gender transition is absolutely striking. By all means check it out at the link below:
I’ve been in a quiet mood lately, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. But if I’m not going to write anything I might as well pass along a link to something I wish I had written. It’s a wonderful essay called Holding On.
I believe in trans people because, above all, we know something about the great and terrible worth of the truth. Not because we have paid that price–it has hit some of us harder, and some of us have come through nearly unscathed. Not because whatever we have suffered has made us more special than any other person. Because each of us is a person who looked out at a very dangerous, risky landscape and chose, eventually, to travel through it because the truth mattered most. We know something about the truth. We know what it is worth. And we, as a people, surrounded by those who do not believe us and want us to pretend for them that they are right, chose that truth knowing it might cost us everything. …
I believe in trans people. I believe in us because we have been honest, at least once, in a way few people on earth have been asked to be. I believe that is what makes us so frightening. That integrity is written all over us. You can see it in the dark. There is no avoiding seeing in us that choice to hold onto the truth even if no-one else would stand with us and do the same. That is enormously threatening. It is no wonder that so many people and communities claim that admitting us among their number might destroy the foundations of everything they know.
Please click over and read the rest. It’s powerful stuff.
I’ve been a big fan and avid reader of Juliet Jaques’ series for The Guardian, A Transgender Journey, ever since I stumbled upon it. Her everyday portrayal of living through gender transition is one of the best examples of transsexual outreach I could ever hope to see in a mainstream publication. She’s easily readable, occasionally witty, and engagingly positive. I have a gut feeling she persuades far more people to accept trans people through the illustration of her life than a hundred opinion pieces about trans rights could ever hope to accomplish.
In a blog post today, Juliet explains how the series came to be.
So, during a telephone conversation shortly after I started living as female in summer 2009, we started discussing my initial experiences: Joe, with the critical distance about this that I subjectively lacked, simply said, “You should pitch this as a blog to The Guardian – they’ll bite your hand off.”
Hands thankfully intact, Juliet relates the full story including some very interesting background on The Guardian’s history on the trans issue (not always so positive). It’s well worth a full read.