Earlier this week I was chatting with one of my friends around trans issues, and some of the ways that marginalized communities can be focused more on internecine conflict than working toward more equity for all of us. But the main focus of the discussion was on the many things that we need to have knowledge on that the average person can safely ignore.
Do you know how much it costs to get your name legally changed, or what forms you need to fill out and what the process is in your jurisdiction? Your trans friend probably does and can walk through it with you.
Do you know the history of queer theory, and how to navigate conversations about queer issues and where we’ve come from to point to where we’re going? Your trans friend, even if they don’t have institutional education, is probably an amateur academic who can name some seminal works on the topic, as well as specific critiques of some of the major thinkers.
Do you know which hormones, mineral, and vitamin levels that you should be concerned with for your health, and what an acceptable range is? Your trans friend probably gets more bloodwork done than you do and has some of their ranges memorized to compare against historical levels, along with whatever tools they need to adjust.
Do you know what anti-trans bills are currently going through your local legislature? How about the names and party affiliation of your representatives on the local, state, and federal level? Your trans friend probably knows all of that, even for appointees and elected officials who probably shouldn’t have to concern them at all, like your childless trans friend who has been out of public school for over a decade but has to know if their school board is promoting anti-trans ideology.
Queer communities and queer families are important. We shouldn’t have to be experts in everything, and we shouldn’t have to constantly be advocating for ourselves in spaces where others do not.
Happy Trans Day of Visibility. Whether you are trans or not, whether you think or feel that you are trans or not (I’m not always there admittedly, but that’s a story for another day), you have the ability to lighten the burden of your friends who already have more than enough things going on and being forced upon them.
If you made it this far, why not share this newsletter with a friend? Or share with me some of the things that you found that you liked this week. Either way, I’m thrilled!