Friday, October 27, 2023

Visible Activism


Image from the Jessie Hart Archives

I came across the term "Visible Activism" from a comment I received yesterday from Charli. It was in response to the post I had written concerning Liz's hospital stay. The entire day and a half was a real emotional roller coaster for me.

In addition to the excessive walking along with hours of sitting in unforgiving chairs being tough on my bad back, facing all those new people who could question my gender made the day and a half a real challenge. To make a long story short, I faced quite a few people.

Years ago, I came to the conclusion that most people don't care if I am transgender or not. They are involved in their own lives and can't make room to add you into theirs. Then there are the people who may notice you and approve of you living as your authentic self as a trans woman or trans man. That is the point where visible activism comes into play. Just living your life as a person in the world when people see you, it opens the door for other positive interactions with others in the transgender community.

Then, there are the minority who see you as transgender and don't approve as if it is any of their business. Naturally, they are the problem people we all dread seeing or interacting with. Out of all the people I encountered in the last two days, I ran into nearly none who reacted in a very negative way to me. One was a very small child who somehow locked on to me in a crowd of people and kept shouting for his Mother to look before I was able to disappear into the masses. The other was a clerk at the pharmacy I went to later in the day to pick up meds for Liz. He called me "Sir" as I went on my way. By this time I was so exhausted by the day, I didn't say anything and just went on my way.

To be certain, visible activism can be difficult depending largely upon your ability to present well to the world. Some days I think I represent my feminine side fairly well while other days, when my gender dysphoria kicks in, my confidence level drops and I have a difficult time facing the world. Those are the days I have to assure myself that all is not as bleak as it seems. Plus, this is the life I chose and I gave up quite a bit to arrive at where I am. 

It is also important to note I made the choice to not have any sort of surgeries at all. No facial feminization or genital realignment work at all. I know in the eyes of the medical world, I still am a biological male just living as a female. At least that is what I have been told by a very out of sorts nurse. I doubt if I made any difference to her in her world which obviously wasn't going very well the day I encountered her. 

Other people in the world I hope I am more successful with. Because ,as another transgender day of remembrance rapidly approaches in November, it will be time again to think about all of those who did (and continue) to make the ultimate sacrifice just to live as their authentic selves. Especially with the political climate around the country, visible activism becomes so much more important. It shows the world we are here to stay. 

Thanks again to Charli for the comment! It meant a lot as I never think I am doing enough to help the transgender or LGBTQ community. 

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