An open letter to the trans and gender diverse community from Mama Alto
By: Mama Alto
My dear trans siblings, my gender diverse family,
Are you hurting right now, or sad, or lost, or confused, or tired? I know I am.
Every day in our political and media spheres we see more and more attacks on us, and those like us, just for daring to live and exist as ourselves.
Misinformation and deception abounds, used to scare-monger and demonise. We have been misconstrued as monsters, and they claim we threaten civilisation.
No. We are human beings.
We have seen ‘debates’ like this before, again and again, over centuries. We have heard this hateful rhetoric which questions the humanity, equality and dignity of groups of people time and time again: across lines of sex, gender, race, ability, class.
As a society, we lie to ourselves, saying those days are over – but they are not. All these intersecting identities are attacked and vilified and discriminated against on a near daily basis, with far too often fatal consequences.
These so called ‘debates’ centre on society’s struggle to define and maintain an idea of “the normal.” Society has found, again and again, the only way to do this is to single out and exclude certain groups of people as “not” normal.
We find ourselves, our identities and our lives weaponised, demonised or erased in other people’s preoccupation with being “normal.”
But there is no normal. Nobody, and no body, is normal. Everyone is different. And that is a beautiful thing: because it means we are all special. In all our glorious diversities and complexities. This is the beauty and strength of humanity.
Yes, there are many things we can share and ways we can form groups of people – cultures, communities and commonalities, or shared heritage, values, faith, beliefs and interests. These form and foster our identities.
But in those identities, we are all marvellously different. There is no normal. And once we recognise that – celebrate our differences and acknowledge that there is no singular, monumental, homogenous normal – people can live their lives so wonderfully.
It is not an excuse or a motivation for behaviours that harm others. In actuality, we see that those harmful, violent and hateful behaviours most frequently stem from individuals who see themselves as upholding the supremacy and power of “the normal” – or those who are nestled within the most “normal” of institutions and structures. There are outliers in any group of people who have the capacity or intent to harm others. And that is not what I am talking about here.
And, when those from within the “normal” protest – ‘not all’ of us are bad – they are in fact recognising the same thing I speak of here. The glorious diversity of humanity.
Hope can be an elusive and difficult thing to hold on to. But my hope is that we can, in our conversations and interactions, in small gestures as well as grand ones, demonstrate and show that we trans and gender diverse people are human beings.
We trans and gender diverse people are part of the incredible diversity of human beings. It is not that we are “not normal” – because there is no “normal.” Everybody is beautifully different, everyone is special.
Perhaps once everybody can realise and embrace this, they will not have cause to attack others for simply existing.
In empathy & solidarity,
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