…yeah, you. I might not even know you, or know that you’re transgender, but I’m talking to you.
Some cisgender folk say they can spot one of us a mile away, but that’s rubbish. Sometimes we can’t even spot each other in a crowd, and that’s okay. Somehow, you’ve gotten very good at hiding. You have your reasons, and it’s not my place to question that at all, so I won’t.
Maybe it’s just inconvenient to be out; it’s just easier if people don’t know. That’s fine, actually. You might not have the mental energy or ability to be out. Being out means automatically that you’re an unintended activist, like me and many others. I support you not choosing the path that I have chosen.
Maybe you’re scared; I’m here to tell you that your fears are justified. Out transpeople in some places put themselves under threat of violence or death, putting themselves on the line just going to the grocery store, or to work. We put our livelihoods on the line working for bosses who just don’t get it. And you…don’t. And that’s okay. Really, it is. Protect yourself. I support you, and if things got ugly when someone outs you, I’d have your back, if you just ask.
I made a conscious decision eight years ago, to be out and visible. I had a twenty-year career that I didn’t want to give up and go full stealth, and frankly wasn’t sure how I’d do it in the first place. So here I am, out and proud and visible. And I care about you, almost as much as I care about myself. I’ll put it out there for everyone to see, and answer the nosy questions that the Muggles are forever bringing to us, and yell about it when people tell untruths about us in the halls of government, churches, and the press.
I do that for all of us. I’m visible, not only for myself and the people I love who are transgender, but for all of you brothers and sisters and others who are having to hide who you are in order to get along with your own version of the world we inhabit. I’ll keep pushing, keep working toward a day when you don’t have to be stealth in order to survive, when you can confidently and safely tell everyone around you who you really are. It may not come in my lifetime, but it’ll come. And some of you, I hope, will get to see that day.