Someone nice just wrote to me and expressed sympathy with the social hassles that I (being a transgender girl) tend to have to deal with. Before feeling automatically sorry for myself in spontaneous agreement, I did a reality check, concluded he has a point and thanked him for it.
I ended up concluding that some idea sets and the people who adhere to them are indeed unjust. That doesn’t make such people the representatives of the planet, i.e., them being unfair doesn’t make the world unfair. It means there are some unfair jerks around, but that’s probably not much of a news item anyway.
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The three points below might be very empowering for you.
1. If anyone’s religious doctrine or script claims something is so, that doesn’t actually make it so. Someone else’s say-so, real or alleged, cannot be a rational basis of ethics. Each person has to deduce and validate his or her ethical principles logically, and if these happen to agree with a principle in an ancient script, then great. But the irony of the issue is that I’m unaware of anything in any revered ancient script being anti-transgender. Yet that’s the vibe I get from official religions, which are a major force in the world and they set the ideological “whom to hate” standard for much of the planet. Assuming rational dialog were viable, it’d be interesting to contact major religions’ main offices and to ask them their opinion on transgender people and to “show their work,” i.e., to trace the “we do not’ approve of transgender people ” policy back to the ancient scripts on which they are supposed to base their ideas.
Even if ancient scripts were explicit that transgender people are bad people, that wouldn’t make it so, and for organized religions to be anti-transgender as a matter of general policy would even then be unfair. But, to be anti-transgender even without any basis in any ancient script is worse yet — and that’s the situation today. So, that’s not just unfair but it’s quite literally doubly unfair.
2. Being transgender says nothing about one’s sexual preference. One can be transgender and straight, transgender and bisexual or transgender and gay. So, being anti-gay is no basis for being anti-transgender.
Being anti-gay is, of course, irrational anyway. But being anti-transgender as part of being anti-gay is even less logical yet. And yet, there’s much of that around. So, that again is not just unfair but again, quite literally, doubly unfair.
3. Rarely does a conversation with an anti-transgender person have much clarity but if it did then that person might say, “I have issues with a man dressing like a woman or vice versa.” Being self-appointed fashion police makes no sense. A man dressing as a woman is totally within his rights and deserves no less to be a 100% respected member of society. But, I happen to agree with the anti-transgender person’s style guidance as far as I’m personally concerned which is why I, as a transgender girl, enjoy dressing as a girl. And yet the person whose agenda I’m being consistent with (be a female, dress as a female) is actually objecting to my dress code. So, again, that is not just unfair but literally doubly unfair.
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Sometimes one’s adversaries can look powerful if only due to sheer meanness, the authority they have, and how dominant a position they have in the relevant subculture. But, if they’re illogical, that’s ultimate the flaw that leads to the fall of even the scariest groups of people. If someone doesn’t make any sense, word finally gets out and reason prevails — in a relatively free society, by improving it, or in a non-free society by its collapse after which, history shows, it is sometimes replaced by a more free society.
Even so, these things take time. As we work to oppose irrationality it’s important to not fall victim to it.
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If you’re physically isolated, reach out on the Web (and if you don’t know where to go, ask me). If you’re in a small town where the culture is hopelessly irrational and potentially dangerous, plan to visit a big city with a more transgender-friendly culture (and if you don’t where to go, ask me and maybe I’ll be your tour guide in Reno or San Francisco). It’ll probably feel good to see how different a culture can be, and my premise is that this can be a prelude to you moving to, or closer to, a geographical location where you’re farther away from dangerous, destructive influences and closer to positive ones.
For example, big cities have many violent criminals and so such places are also dangerous, but a small town in which a small gang bands of thugs unopposed and actively seek out transgenders to terrorize, and they already know you are transgender and they know where you live — to me, that seems even more dangerous and I’d suggest you consider moving to a safer place.
Violence targeted against transgender people, especially teenagers, is a matter of historical fact. If I ever read about you in the news, I’d like it to be something like “first transgender US President elected to office” not “body of slain transgender youth found in city dump.”
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My basic point is that it makes sense to understand how fundamentally lame and silly anti-transgender people are and to oppose irrationality but without putting yourself in avoidable danger as a result.