Liberation not Assimilation

A trans flag is held aloft in front of a cloudy blue sky.

I am tired, so unbelievably tired, of seeing trans people water themselves down in an attempt to make the trans community more “palatable” for cis people. I do not want to be palatable for cis people. I do not want to just exist in a way that is comfortable for cis people. I exist in a way that is comfortable for me.

I do not want my transness to be easy to swallow (read: ignore). It shouldn’t be easy to ignore. My trans identity is intrinsically tied to every single aspect of who I am and to simply assimilate into cis society would be a murder of the most beautiful parts of myself.

Why would I even want to “fit in” in a society that actively rejects my transness when I could spend my time in a community that loves and celebrates my transness? I would rather be hated for what I am (visibly and vocally trans) than loved for what I am not (quiet and meek, not letting my transness “define me”). Besides, love that does not honor and rejoice in my transness is a hollow love and I don’t want it.

I know there are those who hate me. I know there are people who would rather see me as a dead girl than as the living, breathing, happy man I am; and I am not going to change that fact, and I most certainly am not going to disrespect and belittle myself by asking them to pretty pretty please see me as human. (They know we are human. They don’t care.) I am not going to beg for a mere crumb of respect from cis people who would quickly see my head on a spike. I already have all of the respect I need, from myself and especially from my community.

On social media the past few days, I have seen a plethora of tweets accompanied by the “Trans People Are Real People” hashtag, and it breaks my heart. Instead of groveling at the feet of cis people to see us as real people (and I will reiterate once again that they know — they just don’t care), we should be pouring our time and energy into our own community and our liberation.

Liberation will not come with a stamp of approval from our oppressors. Liberation has to be fought for — and we are fighting — and we will win. We are already winning.

I love being trans. It’s one of my favorite things about myself. My very existence is a radical act. It is resistance. And that is so, so powerful. The joy I feel when I look in the mirror at my strange and confusing and beautiful trans body is worth so much more than the approval of cis people who will never even truly understand me. I am always chasing that joy. We should all always be chasing that joy. Our joy will lead us to our liberation.