I went to a local pride walk today. It was a bit odd; I wore my pride eyelashes and was the closest thing to a drag queen there, and the theme was trans -pride.
I listened to the speeches. One by the step-mother of a transman was very moving, as she talked about how surprised she was at the challenges, threats and indignities he faces being out and trans. It was the only thing close to a trans narrative today, and you know me — I think it is stories that open the heart.
Of course, I ended up thinking about what I would have said.
Who are transgender people?
We are people who knew something about ourselves, knew something so powerful we were willing to face social stigma, shaming and abuse to let it out. We were told from a very young age what the rules were and what the penalties were for breaking them, but we felt something so powerful inside of us that we have to let that out.
And what is it that we know? What are we so sure of that we are willing to take daily abuse just to manifest it in the world?
That’s simple. We know that inside of us, being crushed by the pressure to be normal and fit in, is someone who is just, well, fabulous.
We know that there is a better, truer, sharper, more beautiful and more whole person under the mask others want us to wear.
We know that we can’t be true to the fabulous self our creator put in our heart unless we face down the limits so many want to put on normal.
We know in our hearts the old feminist teaching that we are not defined by our biology, but rather are defined by the choices we make, including the choice to be the most fabulous self in the world.
This is a world where there is a deep fear of fabulous. Fabulous people don’t play small, don’t play along. They cannot easily be intimidated, because being fabulous people know that love is more important than fear, know that they can never really be separated from the world and their creator if they become the best that they can be.
This is one force of transgender people in the world. As transgender people work to be the most fabulous person they can be, they make us face our own fear of fabulous. They make us question how much of our fabulous self we surrender to play along, to play small, to play nice. We can look to our creator and creation and wonder if we too can be more fierce and fabulous in the world if we just claim more of our own heart and fear less the pressure to fit in.
Transgender is, in the end, a demand that the fabulous self we know ourselves to be inside be more present and visible in the world. Transgender is the claim that if we are not limited by gender stereotypes we can be even more authentic, potent and fabulous.
That call for each of us to the most fabulous self we can be is at the heart of the call for transgender rights in this culture. For people who fear fabulous and demand compliance to their projected norms, this may be a hard idea to grasp.
But if getting over the fear of fabulous can make each of us more potent, give each of us more to contribute to our shared world, isn’t that worth it?
The struggle transgender people have in the world is to find their fabulous and let that fabulous self flow in the world.
And in the end, isn’t fabulous, well, fabulous?
Transgender rights are human rights. And the human right to be the most fabulous we can be, without fear and shaming, well, that seems, just fabulous.