We are not gathered to say that we are proud to be trans. Our being trans is a happenstance of birth, just another way some people are born.
No, we are gathered here to say that we are trans and we are proud. And in a society that works hard to shame non-normative people in to silence, that is a remarkable thing to say. We have taken the shaming and the ostracism, taken the threats and the fear, taken the abuse and the separation, taken the pounding that tried to keep us down, taken the brickbats and the bombs, and we have emerged. We have emerged alive, we have emerged thriving, we have emerged proud.
And who are are we not to be proud? Are we not children of the creator as much as any other human on earth? Do we not have the possibility of wonder written into our souls? Do we not have the spark of life burning in us?
Many people still tell us that we should be ashamed, ashamed of who we are, ashamed of our choices, ashamed of our very nature. They tell us that by being visible we can corrupt their children, make the world safer for sexual predators, offend those who value fear and obedience to the norms over expression. They tell us that we are indulgent and challenging, and we should be very ashamed of who we are.
But we gather here together to say this, to share this: It is possible to be trans and proud. And, in fact, any trans person who has created a whole, integrated and healthy expression in the face of such shaming, has a great deal to be proud of, trancending the internalized self-loathing to come out into the sunlight of such a bright June day!
We are here, we are trans, and we are proud.
We are proud of ourselves, yes, but we are also proud of all those who helped get us to this point, those who struggled with burdens of stigma and lead the way, opening up possibilities for all of us.
We are proud of the transpeople who are out today, showing themselves as valuable members of society, just doing the everyday work. They challenge the lessons that all transpeople are sick and broken, and show that we can be as potent as any human when we come from our own gifts.
We are proud of the transpeople who are out and doing the icebreaking work, taking down political, social, medical and other barriers to the simple emergence of transpeople as proud members of a wider community.
We are proud of the history people like us wrote, and proud of the future that we can imagine, where kids can actually be who they are, bringing out the best of them without being shackled by compulsory gender that puts genital configuration over the power of their open and graceful heart.
We are here today saying that yes, yes, yes, it is possible to be trans and to be proud.
And that is a message that there is no going back from. It is a message that all need to hear.
And it is a message we need to carry in our heart everyday.
It is possible to be trans and to be proud.
And we are both!