Jun. 29th, 2015

batskeets: (j)
I don't speak on this often at any length, because I can only truly speak to my own experience... which isn't exactly extensive, given that I'm a ciswoman. And, as with many things, I'd rather listen and understand, than try to speculate.

In short: I've been the years-long partner to someone who began transitioning after our relationship ended. I've also been the (long-distance) support system during a good friend's transition, when they had nowhere else to turn. None of this is to say that I haven't made mistakes--I certainly made some of the most hurtful mistakes of my life with the former--but I endeavor to be an ally to the best of my ability. I understand so much more now than I did when I first encountered a transperson.

I've also seen more than one friend, since then, be absolutely transformed by their transition. It's not because of what's on the outside, but because of how it makes them feel. However they choose to present, they are now more themselves than they've ever been, and they absolutely radiate because of it. I can't think of a single person who would dare describe transitioning as "easy," but when I see the brightness in their spirits that comes with it, I know why it's worth the struggle.

Things like what John Oliver discusses below are just part of what make it such a struggle, and it's heartening to see someone at this level of prominence trying to educate the world at large about this. It's a big freaking deal. There are too many people who are more interested in satisfying their own curiosity, or labeling and shaming those around them, instead of simply trying to understand.

I know there are those who'll say that it's not "normal," or that it's a mental condition, or that god or whoever planned things to be this way, but guess what? I DON'T CARE. No matter how different a group of people may be from you, none of these things give you license to be cruel to them, or to take away their right to happiness. You cannot possibly know someone else's experience--the environments we're born into are vastly different, and we don't all have the same resources. The influences surrounding us are varying and, early in our lives, are not even something we can control. The way our brains are wired is unique for every. Single. PERSON. on this godforsaken rock. You can't know what they feel, or what they've experienced. And you, Mr.-or-Ms. The-Lord-Works-In-Mysterious-Ways, definitely can't know what God's Supposed Plan is.

Humans have a hard time admitting it when they don't know something, but in this one instance, let's at least try to accept that we have a lot left to learn. And then, keep listening.

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