When I was a kid, on MLK day I had to march with a group of church folk singing, “We shall over come.” I never understood why blacks were discriminated against, and I’ll never comprehend why a human being would be discriminated against for any reason. It especially doesn’t make sense when humans are shunned because of something about them that can’t be changed. During black history month my father would often have the documentaries playing on t.v. showing the police hosing down black folk in the street. There was a burning fury inside of me as I watched and until this day I prefer not to see it.
Today I was enjoying my usual YouTube watching when I came across a video of a man who was giving his strong opinions on what he thinks about Transgender Woman. He particularly targeted Caitlyn Jenner. He basically said that all Trans Women are cross-dressing men. What”s even worse is that when I looked at the comments, there were a lot of people who agreed with him. This video brought out a lot people who still believe that the LGBT community is going to hell.
The next video I watched was with Howard Stern talking about Caitlyn Jenner. Now I’m sure most of you know that he pulls no stops when he’s doing a show. Howard referred to Caitlyn as a man, and even made fun of reassignment surgeries, also referring to Caitlyn’s genitals in vulgar ways. I’m continually learning not to take the opinions of others personally, and I was proud of myself for listening to these videos and not getting upset. But this can’t be right. Although I wasn’t offended, I began to think about all the Trans people who would be personally destroyed by hearing such rude remarks reflecting his or her identity. That is when I knew I needed to write about this topic.
The last video I watched was a documentary on the history of the gay community. This was definitely a more positive video. The show started off telling how discreet you had to be if you were gay. Often times men had to pretend that they were interested in women for fear of being ‘found out’. The best part for me was when the community had enough of hiding, they banned together, stood up for themselves, and everyone started coming out of the closet. Communities were formed in certain areas of town where gays would congregate and feel free to be themselves. It was a beautiful site to see. Then the AIDS epidemic began to bring thousands of gays to their early death. However, the community banned together again to force the government to do research on the virus. Once again, they won. And now, although the fight isn’t over, we’ve won marriage equality.
The LGBT community has suffered tremendously as blacks did during segregation. Gays were treated as second class citizens and even had their hang out spots raided by the police taking them to jail for being who they are. Being a Transgender Woman, and watching those video’s ridiculing Caitlyn opened my eyes even more to what discrimination is like. I often try to understand both sides of any situation, and I get why these people don’t understand what it means to be Transgender. I have no idea what it feels like for a brain to line up with the body its housed in. However, Just because I don’t understand people who are different from me doesn’t give me the right to tear them down to make myself seem superior. Because I’m strong, I will stand for those who aren’t and encourage them to be who they are regardless to what anyone says or thinks. It’s not easy, but so many that came before us stood together for their rights and won. So can we.
So the question still remains. Will discrimination ever end?. My personal opinion is that it won’t. BUT, what I know for sure (or at least hope) is that there will always be people who will continue the fight for equality. What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.