Transgender Transitions: Reflections from the other side

Transgender Transitions: Reflections from the other side

The need to Educate, Agitate, and Organize

By Kathryn J. Redman

 

Last month, Caroline wrote a very powerful, piece about, in her words, “[T]he horrific, political scapegoating being visited on us[.]”. This month I want to continue and expand the conversation she started about protecting and helping ourselves.

I feel we are fortunate that most of the people reading this live in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  I can assure you that, in returning to the Kansas City area after 12 years living in Oklahoma, I find the overwhelming majority of people, here, to be more open, accepting, and nonjudgemental.  We can take solace in that Kansas City, MO has declared itself a sanctuary city where, at least, they will have no part in enforcing the legislated hatred against us.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t provide solace to the health care professionals that are governed at the state level.  They have a real dilemma on their hands.

Caroline went on to write about the Drag Queens and Drag Kings that are facing down our political foes.  She suggested we join them if it is a possibility.  While I DON’T WANT ANYONE to put themselves at risk, I do believe we are now in a situation where, as many of us that are able, need to start educating our friends and neighbors, our employers; anyone we have a safe relationship with, about how desperate our plight is.

I personally can’t help but see frightening similarities between our US society today and the German society of the late 1920s and the 1930s when fascism took hold.  It started as religious, Christian, nationalism.  I keep remembering a poem written by Martin Niemoller toward the end of World War II which he entitled First They Came. 

He wrote:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

—Martin Niemöller

 

Most of us probably don’t consider ourselves Socialists, Trade Unionists, or Jewish.  (That said, I know and respect many that do.). I can’t help but see the similarity between what Niemoller wrote about and what you and I are witnessing today.

Several months ago I wrote about this in Prism & Pen and updated Niemoller’s poem for 2023.

 

I wrote:

First They Came 2023 by Kathryn Redman

Based on:  First They Came by Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Trans Youth

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Transgender Youth

Then they came for the Trans Adults

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Transgender Adult

Then they came for the Same Sex Marriage

And I did not speak out

Because I was not in a Same Sex Marriage

Then they came for the Lesbians and Gays

And I did not speak out

Because I was not Lesbian or Gay

Then they came for those in Interracial Marriage

And I did not speak out

Because I was not in an Interracial Marriage

Then they came for the Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Islanders

And I did not speak out

Because I was not Black or Hispanic or Asian or an Islander

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me

(Note:  My editor at Prism & Pen liked it so much he had it Copywrited to me.)

So my call is this.

We all need to embrace every opportunity to educate, agitate, and organize.

I read an article, and I wish I could find it now, where a survey indicated the vast majority of Americans, over 70%, see Trans, and LGBTQI+ rights in general, as a fringe issue.  My thought is that if over 70% of the surveyed US Population see us as a Fringe Issue, 70% of the surveyed population are asking to be educated.We need to make them understand that this is a fundamental rights issue, that if not addressed now, will have us all being clones of Donald Trump.  I personally can’t go there.

 

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