I have been trying to process all the events of the last 10 days and I find myself struggling mightily with my emotions and the words to express them. I am so deeply troubled and saddened by the injustice that my black brothers and sisters have endured. Especially my black trans and LGBQ sisters and brothers. What hurts more is the realization that it is a pain that I will never experience personally.
So many times I have tried to help straight and LGB cisgender people understand what it is like to be born into a body that belies one’s true sense of who they really are and then to live decades of one’s life in complete denial of that fact. Now, I feel like the script has been flipped. I am struggling with the reality that I will never know what it is like to be profiled by police and pulled over for driving a car while black. Try as I might, I can never walk in your shoes. And as such, I am feeling an immense sense of remorse because I have not lived your history, your reality.
I get it, I’m a white transwoman of privilege. I have endured battles with my own inner demons and overcome my own obstacles so I can live my own authentic life. But I do not want privilege to ever be the reason that I lose my connection to my black trans and LGBQ sisters and brothers. We are all a part of the same human family. We are all connected. When someone hurts you, they hurt me too.
Perhaps Archbishop Desmond Tutu said it best when describing the African philosophy of Ubuntu, “A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished when others are tortured or oppressed.”
Please know I love you all, I stand with you and I raise up my voice in unwavering solidarity with you. The future we seek will be created by the choices we make and the actions we take today and in the weeks and months ahead – together.
My dear friends at Out & Equal (thank you Deena Fidas!) have produced a wonderfully comprehensive guide designed to assist companies in navigating the COVID-19 crisis for their LGBTQ employees.
As the piece points out, employers play a pivotal role in shaping the lives and well-being of LGBTQ employees and their families, especially in times of crisis.
We, as LGBTQ persons/allies/activists/DEI practitioners, must fully embrace the fact that our work in the LGBTQ community is more important – and vital – than ever before.
From my friends at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), a very timely guide for transgender and non-binary people who may find themselves having to navigate the COVID-19 virus, within an already-discriminatory environment in many states in our country with respect to employment, housing, health care, identification, and accessing assistance from government agencies…read more