Once I had thought that my transition and ability to live my life were in my hands.
As I tried to balance the strains it put on my marriage. The minefield that was family and friends, each footstep thoughtfully placed before I took another.
One wrong misstep could blow up my life. I had control of my destiny or as much control one thinks they have when attempted a controlled crash landing. Once the 45th President put us in the crosshairs and slowly erased the word transgender from the government roles, I had a self-imposed time limit I felt to get it done or as far as I could get.
When things started to change in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic, people felt isolation and fear of not having control. This was something I had felt for years with my gender dysphoria.
And with it came an anger towards the things they didn’t want to accept and couldn’t understand. Mask mandates, shutdowns, fear of something they couldn’t see. A frustration looking for a target to release that stress.
Though I was a full 3 years in on my transition, The Trump Administration was still finding new ways to greenlight discrimination towards the transgender community. SCOTUS was about to give a ruling that extended employment protections under Title Vll to the transgender community. Right after this ruling red states zero’d in on the transgender community.
We became a wedge issue, a group to wage a culture war on. The 2022 midterms and the red wave, which could have been a blow to progressive policies, didn’t materialize. The overturning of Roe helped stifle that. But yet the GOP and their narrow margin in Congress have already passed one bill against the trans community. That will never pass in the Senate or be vetoed by President Biden.
But the States continue to deny us gender affirming care legislatively. State by State it grew each year. Till now in 2023 when 540 anti-trans bills have been proposed in 49 states, with 66 being passed (translegislation.com). These numbers seemed incomprehensible to me.
The talking heads on conservative news stations, transphobic youtubers spewing out disinformation: All to garner more viewers. They fanned the masses' hate towards the trans community which then grew exponentially.
I have become tentative and cautious about living a life where I stand up to advocate and become a target myself and wanting to disappear into the fabric of society as so many of my friends have. Is there even safety in hiding now?
I realize my martial arts won’t be able to protect me against the legislation that is slowly eradicating the trans community. The GOP said they want to eradicate transgenderism (a word considered offensive now according to GLAAD), if they take the 2024 elections.
How do you fight that? We lack the numbers and are a liability to any politician who is running to step up for us. Executive orders like the ones Governor Murphy signed protecting the trans community in my home state of NJ are comforting to me. But the next Governor could cancel each one on their first day in office. So unless we get legislation to protect our rights for gender affirming healthcare and our right to just exist. Our situation is still precarious at best.
It’s like the transgender community is Ukraine and unless our allies come to our assistance we are destined to be eliminated. I feel less safe, less secure and more afraid each passing day.