January 09, 2009

"2009: The Year of the Trans"

Donna Rose is a transgender activist who felt so strongly about the HRC's support of dropping transgenders from the ENDA legislation last year that she resigned as a member of the organizaiton. She is, however, looking forward to a positive year for the transgender community in 2009 in this post on The Bilerico Project:

As we continue to push the envelope and more and more of us get involved in general "life" things we'll continue to see things change. We'll continue to see pride replace feelings of shame, guilt and fear as we go about our lives. We'll continue to see recognition of the unique challenges many of us face. And we'll continue to gain friends and allies in this struggle who accept us as valued peers, not as expendable liabilities.

I'm not trying to diminish other significant events that may happen this year. We are living in a time of significant opportunity and many of us have high hopes so there's no need to argue about what's the biggest. However, I'm not willing to admit that our continued emergence as whole, sane, contributing members of society is any less important than anything else.

Changing culture, and that's what we're fundamentally talking about here, takes time. Barriers and prejudices built over generations do not come crashing down in a day. It's a gradual change that happens brick by brick. It's filled with stops and starts, spurts and crashes, victories and defeats. It is a journey fueled by passion, energy, and dedication. Looking at our progress it's not hard to predict that 2009 will be a big year in this journey. It is truly an amazing time to be alive.

There is a LOT of wisdom in this excerpt from her post. In order for the entire LGBT community to achieve not only tolerance but full acceptance in society, our culture itself must change. That is an arduous process and can't be done simply with legislation. Real change must be affected by individuals who become tired of being victims or sitting on the sidelines and are ready to initiate change.

Donna Rose sees that for 2009, and I hope she is right. Click here to read her predictions for the upcoming year.

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