Speak Out!

Speaking out about transgender issues is both extremely easy and hard. It is easy because you can see first hand what damage negative opinions and oppression and transphobia have. It might even be part of your reality. It is something that you as a partner may be passionate about and have experience of and want to talk about.

But it is also hard. It is a double edge sword. Can you breakdown people’s negative perceptions and reach them? Can they even see/ hear what you are saying? How can you say what you want to say without getting to emotional? Will it end in violence? Will you lose friends?

Not only that, saying something may inadvertantly “out” your partner if she is stealth, or very close to it.

Navigating all of this is very hard. So when do you say something? Should you say something?  The further along in partners transition the more comfortable I have felt about speaking out. But I have to be careful because my partner is stealth.

My rules for speaking out are: Unless comments are made in partners’ presence I never bring up trans stuff. If I see something, I will say something as long as it safe to do so. I try to advocate online as much as possible. Protesting about derogatory headlines in newspapers, misleading articles and websites. Writing to the editors of pages or posting in the comments section. I back it up with evidence and use sound non-emotive language. Don’t get personal! It’s not about you! Be specific to the topic but don’t claim to represent transgender people.

It is harder when the people being insensitive or derogatory are your own family or friends. Saying something can cause a riff and not saying anything is hurtful. I am inclined to say something these days no matter how much “trouble” it makes for me.

 

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