Friday, December 24, 2010

How Can I Say "Happy Holidays?"

It’s hard for me to get in the holiday spirit. Yeah, I’ve got everything going for me, for the most part. I have family and friends that accept and love, a wonderful husband and a cat that sleeps beside me every night. I had a successful employment career and have a warm house to come home to, every day. To put it bluntly, I am a white trans woman of privilege.

Over the past year and a half, I have met many Brothers and Sisters. I have many Trans friends and colleagues on Facebook and those that I know personally, those that live in the area, and those that I have met in my many travels. Most I know are those that are financially challenged, there are those that are ill or have legal issues, yet cannot afford an attorney. I know those that are homeless or without the support of family and children. I have visited those in the corrections system and those in hospitals. I know those that have met with violence and I know those who have had to stand up to words of hate.

I know those that buy black market hormones because they have no insurance. I turn my head, yet plead for them to get their bloodwork done, but know they can’t afford doctors. I know those that do sexwork, for them it is income. I know those that are despondent and say their life is done.

So how can I utter a holiday phrase that begins with “Merry” or “Happy” when there is so much pain in the Trans Community. Don’t say it’s a choice, because it is not. I know of no human being that is willing to sacrifice happiness, face the discrimination and risk the violence simply because it is a choice. To those that say “It Gets Better,” I will give them the list of the 179 Trans murdered last year. I know you are going to say ‘why write such negative thoughts?” but in response to you, it’s the reality of being Trans. There needs to be a real change.

There are many in our Community trying to effect change, but I know that the next rallying call for "Equality" will be for same-gender marriage, while my Brothers and Sisters look desperately for employment, a path to proper healthcare and acceptance. Yeah, I hear HRC will now predicate Trans healthcare on their Equality Index, but if you work for those companies, most can afford transition healthcare anyway.

So, to my Brothers and Sisters, nothing will be done for the “T” Community, unless we get involved. No change will come unless we are represented in the driver’s seat, with our hands on the agenda wheel. It’s time to change buses, and get on the “T” Line.

Then maybe next year or the next, I can say “Happy Holidays.”

Robyn Carolyn Montague