Transgender Activism Versus Relevance

Connie wrote in this comment in regards to the Cyrsti’s Condo post on activism within the trans community. Or, at least on how it pertains to me:

“The subject of relevance was discussed a couple of posts ago. This post seems to fit right in with that subject. If the TOS was cancelled, do you think that it was done so because of its becoming less relevant in today’s culture? Also, I can certainly understand how trans/cross dresser meetups might be less relevant to you these days.

I live in a state that has legislation protecting trans people’s rights, for the most part. Still, there are bills introduced every session that are designed to strip some of those rights. It’s more difficult to overturn current legislation, so I would hope that Ohio would also put more protections for trans people into law. Rather than just working to defeat the negative bills, maybe you could get involved in trying to get more protections in place. I think that it would have more direct relevance, anyway. Through your work on trans elder care, the opportunity to do that may well be the most relevant thing you could do.

The fact that I can live a fairly normal life, as a transgender woman, is largely the result of the laws that protect me. Still, it is my own ability to have control over my life that gives me the flexibility to choose, as well as avoid, those situations in which I place myself. Losing that control, and surrendering it to the institution that would be designated for my care, is my worst nightmare. I hear horror stories of how infirm individuals are mistreated, and I can only imagine how much worse they could be for trans people. I can picture myself lying in bed with a two-day beard growth, having my genitals wiped down by a caretaker, and then feeling helpless in my ability to convey my trans-woman status when even mis-gendered. My imagination only shows it getting worse from there.

There are so many more of us trans people who have been able to embark on a transition in gender at an older age now. Many of us have decided that the transition not necessarily include GRS, hair removal, voice therapy or surgery, or even HRT. I know that a successful social transition can be made without any of those things, because I have done it. It has not been without effort, on my part, however. Without the energy or physical ability to put in the effort, though, what success would I really have? We should all have a living will, directing how we would like to be treated, should we be unable to convey our wishes – most typically in the form of a “Do Not Resuscitate” order. Perhaps we should also have a stipulation that “I Am a Woman” be tattooed in a prominent place on the body (OK, that is rather drastic, I admit). Still, though, we would be at the mercy of our caretakers as to how we would be treated, in that regard, unless there is an actual law that could be as enforceable as a “Do Not Resuscitate” order.

I rather prefer the thought of being proactive than being reactive, if one is inclined toward activism, at all.”

I don’t know if I mentioned it but Ohio’s bill regarding transgender rights is being debated currently. Supposedly this time it has a better chance of being passed because of backing from quite a few forward thinking major corporations in the state. Plus all of the major cities in the state have passed protection bills too. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Thanks for the comment.

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