*Note: These are my feelings and thoughts, not anyone else’s, especially not any other trans person’s. So, don’t use this as an excuse to call all trans people, or all trans women weak. If you do, you are an asshole. Full Fucking Stop*
I am an author and poet. I am an advocate and ally for oppressed peoples of all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. I am head of a grassroots organization working to open a Pride Center in my city. I am an educator. I am an IT professional whose skills and time are respected and sought after.
I am also a human, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a niece, a cousin, and a girlfriend. I feel strong enough most of the time, but every so often, the world gets to me.
I am also a trans woman, which means a lot of things, one of which is that some of the loudest and most offensive people in the world think that I shouldn’t exist and are doing their damnedest to push me out.
Now, this goes in direct opposition to, I don’t know, actual doctors, biologists, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, etc. and actual trans people with lived experience. This doesn’t stop them, however, from screaming that I am an abomination, mentally unstable, sexually sick, a danger to children, a man disguised as a woman to get into the women’s’ bathroom to see them naked, etc, etc, etc.
This all leads to me wanting to curl up in a ball and cry sometimes, or escape from the world for a bit. I love my life, I love my job, I love my family and friends, I love my partner, I love being able to stand up for those that need it…but sometimes, I just feel so overwhelmed. If the damn TERFs would fuck off with their lies and bigotry for even a day it would make it so much easier for me to take a breath.
When I get to these points, I just feel lost, and like Bilbo Baggins
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
But I can’t stop. I can’t let up. I have to keep working, keep fighting, keep striving for excellence and growth.
When people like me let up, the bigots keep pushing their agendas to try to dehumanize, delegitimize, and destroy us. Not just in the US, but in so many countries all over the world. Don’t believe me? Simply Google trans rights in Europe, Asia, South America, or Africa. It is disheartening, and is only getting worse. (For example: https://tgeu.org/trans-rights-europe-central-asia-map-index-2019/)
We can’t stop. There are so many people, in so many countries, that are being actively erased from existence because of bigots and fundamental religious beliefs that ignore scientific evidence and research. Because they don’t want to accept that we exist, and have existed as long as homo sapiens have been a thing.
However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to take a break sometimes. I can’t speak for any of the other trans people working for our rights and recognition, but I imagine they sometimes feel the same way.
Giving up, letting up, or stopping are not an option. The lawmakers (even the ones that call themselves allies) are not doing enough. For every one or two victories we get, 10 other local, regional, or national laws working to erase us from history are enacted.
More of us are killed every year (a disproportionate number of the killings are Black Trans Women), we lose partners, family, jobs, housing, healthcare, etc. for simply standing up and saying
This is not to say that you shouldn’t take the time and space to regenerate as needed. Just don’t let it consume your time. There are people all over the world that need us, and there are people that will benefit from the work we are doing long after we have passed on.
If you become overwhelmed and feel broken, remember that there are so many people that SEE you, and appreciate the work/education that you are doing, even if you don’t interact with them directly.
Also, remember, that taking a few days to recharge will give you an huge benefit, and, in turn, your advocacy and education. It will allow you to not be running on fumes.
We tell ourselves that we cannlt let up, but what that does is burn us out to the point of walking away and not coming back to it.
Be strong. Be vigilant. Be kind. Be loving. Be riteous.
Give love. Give light. Give time. Give knowledge.
Take the time to heal. Take the time to grow. Take the time to be you, and not lose yourself in the work you are doing.
-Justice Faye Dazzle