I watch TV and Geraldine Ferraro wants Sarah Palin to do well in the debate tomorrow night because she wants little girls to know they can go toe-to-toe with men and do well.
And I think, well, what do little transpeople get to know?
My life is a life of impairment. I may have always known who I am, but I also always knew that who I am is deemed unacceptable, false, sick, perverted and so on.
In a Law And Order: Criminal Intent my mother had on yesterday, Goren’s exit line was “See, that’s what happens when you keep people from doing what they do best. It makes them insane.”
People around you, well, it is virtually impossible for them to understand the costs of this life of impairment. If they understand, then they have to understand how their fear and desire to appear normative make them complicitous in impairing you.
No, they would rather believe that you are incompetent. That something is broken inside you.
There is no sense that what is broken is your spirit, what is broken is your heart, broken from being kept from doing what you do best.
Broken from living an impaired life.
The story of when TBB came out, so much family against her, trying to pound back the “sickness” and protect the children, and causing sickness and damage instead, well, it tears me up.
But I know that her story is the story of every tranny, broken by impairment, by stigma and shame, and the impairment only gets more damaging the closer you are to being out and breathing in the world.
I know this is the story of researchers who want to find our seminal sickness, our incompetence, and therefore refuse to look at how a lifetime of impairment can break someone, break them badly.
In this house I play small for the comfort of others, just trying to get someone to the bathroom. But that makes some see me as incompetent, unable to address “the longer term issues” that my charges don’t engage, because their longer term issue is death.
If you know a transperson, don’t see them as incompetent. Understand how social impairment has destroyed them, and work to remove those impairments.
It sounds simple until you face it, and face how those impairments placed on them keep you comfortable, away from the deeper challenges of life beyond the limits of normative expectation.
Transpeople are not pathetic because they are born with a horrible disfiguring disease.
Transpeople are broken because they are beaten to have them deny who they know themselves to be.
And that will cripple anyone.