Intersectionality: Speak to Be Understood, Listen to Understand
Right now it feels like all of the pressure on Trans rights is being applied downward from the top. If you feel that is the case, then you are not alone because that is exactly what is happening. And it’s not just the Trans community feeling the pressure, but all those who exist outside the margins of power. But, this is nothing new to so many marginalized populations. What is new, however, is the blatant manner by which all three branches of our Federal Government, and many state governments, actively and publicly pursue policies and express opinions that would never get beyond the mumbling conversations whispered between bigoted cronies in the darkness of closeted backrooms.
At first, many of us could not believe our ears and eyes. We seem to have forgotten that the bullshit coming from the White House, the Senate, and the House is as old as this country and it probably shouldn’t have surprised anyone. But it did catch a lot of people by surprise, and it still does — but not as much as it did even a couple weeks ago. It’s kind of a “shock-and-awe” where disaster becomes the new and ultimately demoralizing norm. Now, we read and watch news stories every day about some new policy that whittles away at the rights of yet another targeted group and then another after that. Now, I am just as likely to be told by friends that they don’t listen to the news or talk about what is happening anymore because they are sick and tired of the politics.
But let’s get real. This in’t about politics and it never was. This is about the civil rights and human rights, the dignity and basic freedoms of marginalized and vulnerable people whose opinions are expressed more openly in social media, and less and less in the open air and on the common ground of the intersections where our lives, including those in the Trans community, come together to form our larger communities. We must all learn to speak so we are understood and listen so we understand, because it is at the intersections of marginalization where we will find our more perfect union.