Gender is a complex entirety. It is not simply a topic, it is lived experience. It is social and personal and many things. It may tie into our sexuality (or lack thereof) or not.
My own gender is a fluid, amorphous creature. I am of two selves, the masculine and feminine. The words don’t encompass the truth of them. During my younger years I saw them as two distinct beings. There was the softer, kinder piece of me who had been locked away. The other me was confident, far prouder in himself, but he had to hold all the nerves that the other one had.
I don’t conceive of myselves as different parts somewhat outside my own person anymore. Nor have they combined, however. I am a boy and a girl, or, more accurately, a creature that dons my idea of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’.
My mother once gave me a sticker with an image of a blender blending ‘gender’ up in it. It is pasted to a folder that houses my more personal writings. That is the kind of mother I have. A good one.
I am lucky. I may not be able to find clothes in my size most of the time and struggle with truly accepting my own body, but I am lucky. I can navigate my worlds with ease. I was born with a vagina and a labia and a uterus, even if I sometimes resent that last one and the plumbing doesn’t work right. When I talk about gender variance and being a boy sometimes, I am not seen as a threat. I have a lack of privileges and an overflowing fist full of them, all at once.
Transphobia has been part of my life. But there are people whom transphobia affects much more. People for whom hatred for them costs them their life.
That saying, that women fear men will kill them – it applies to trans people. Especially trans women. And it isn’t just men that will kill trans individuals. Women will eagerly hop on the train to antagonize, abuse, and kill trans people. Especially trans women.
Trans women are women. They are people.
I know that there are people who don’t think either of those are true. Ideally, whether or not you view someone as a person shouldn’t have an impact on their life and safety. If you think someone is less than a person, if you want to indulge in the behavior of actual babies and toddlers, your behavior and rhetoric should be treated like the childish tantrum it is.
I haven’t been truly angry about much happening online this year. Hurt, confused, baffled, and tired by it all, yes. Anger and rage feel like emotions for years ago, when I had the energy for it. Back before my brain finished and I was able to turn to flesh and blood and a warm bed with my spouse. I don’t know that I am angry now.
I’m disgusted, though. I’m disgusted that people who are part of the Pagan community are insisting on promoting hate speech and hurting people. I’m disgusted that major Pagan institutions are supporting them and comparing criticism of hate speech to death threats. I’m disgusted that being friends with someone is seemingly reason enough to ignore when they are intentionally, purposefully, repeatedly promoting hate,
Simply saying that you don’t support hate speech is easy. Telling someone to stop hurting another person is easy. Standing up can be hard, can put us in someone’s crosshairs. But at the end of the day, it is always the right decision.
Do the right thing. Tell the truth. And stand with those who need it.
As a final note, trans women are people. And they are women.