I feel like everyone I know is struggling with their biases (or judging others for their biases.) It’s a jungle out there, folks, and the vines seem to grow faster than we can cut them. In my case, it feels like I have hacked my way through issues like homophobia, female oppression and systemic racism only to be faced with new ones like class and, the big one as of late, transphobia.
My opinion is that it’s really important to explore one’s capacity to be open and supportive of differences while simultaneously noticing our predisposition to cling to more established beliefs. I think it’s all part of a transformation to a more mature and nuanced perspective, if we’re ready to go there.
This isn’t a comfortable process and it seems like I’m always a bit behind some of my peers. That’s okay, though. I feel extremely lucky to have friends and family who challenge me. Often, I put up a fight before I see the light.
This week, I finished a novel that created new neural pathways in my brain and opened my heart to what it’s like to be transgender in this world. Scratch that. I’ll never really know, but I believe that the fear or indifference in my heart has morphed into compassion. Time will tell because it’s my behavior that counts.
One of the things I learned is that most trans men and women are sick to death of explaining their choices to cisgender people like me. Some will do it, but it ain’t their job to out themselves or hold clinics for us every day of their lives. Accordingly, I suggest that you and I keep learning on our own and with one another. There’s tons of good video and may I suggest the book, “Mad Honey,” if you prefer to learn from a great story. It’s co-written by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan.
And please let all of us know if you have any resources that have helped you open your heart by commenting here or sending me an email. I’ll gladly share what you have to offer.
Lastly, I apologize if any of my newly minted verbiage or my presumption that there’s one way to think about these topics causes you to wince. I’m doing my best and I bet you are, too.
As I said at the top, I don’t believe that we can speak about this unless and until we’re ready to address our judgement of one another, to acknowledge that we’re all on our own path and no one’s way is the best way. When we come to every conversation with compassion and curiosity, we’ll see that there’s always a place where paths converge. This is where fear melts and love emerges.