Trans Spirituality – TDOV Special

Trans Spirituality – TDOV Special

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Every year on March 31, Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) is observed. For some, it is a joyous occasion to celebrate our lives well lived. For others, it is a day of militance, given the nature of oppression in the government today. For others still, it is a day of danger.

Danger? Yes, because many of our trans siblings cannot live their actualized lives due to oppression from families, financial pressures, employment issues and other factors. For them coming out, being outed or in any other way being seen is to be in jeopardy. So, I approach this day with mixed emotions.

I live a fully out trans life. I work as a trans activist and advocate to the extent that my disabilities allow, mainly through academic work and social media such as this. But I don’t feel comfortable with TDOV. It puts too much pressure on too many people.

As a chaplain and pastoral counselor, my priority is saving lives. Not necessarily through religious work such as preaching, since many trans people do not respond to that, but through listening and supporting them where they are.

In my tradition, and you’ve probably heard me say this before, saving lives is one of the highest priorities. If you are trans and reading this, and TDOV is too much pressure, remember that your life is more important than a day on the calendar. I don’t want you to become a statistic. I want you to live.

I know that what you are experiencing now may not feel like a life. Most trans people have been there with the dysphoria, the pain, the trauma. I can’t promise you it will get better, because I’d be lying – I know for some people it doesn’t, and I don’t make promises I can’t keep. But . . . I sincerely hope that you do not give up.

In the Navy, we used to say “Illegitemi non carborundum. . .” don’t let the bastards get you down! That is so much more true here. Our government is literally trying to kill us, and we can’t give them that victory. Every trans death is a victory for the Evangelicals and radical right wingers in CONgress, State and local governments.

In my tradition, it is also taught that to save a life is equivalent to saving the whole world. I am not so chutzpadik as to suggest that I am trying to save the whole world by writing a column today. But what I am saying is that if you feel that outing yourself on TDOV is too much, then PLEASE – don’t do it.

Not only don’t do it, but feel good about your choice. We tend to feel like there is something wrong with us when we don’t do what the majority of people are doing. We feel guilty and have imposter syndrome. If you can’t be open about who you are, that just adds to the pressure you’re feeling already. So, shed the baggage about TDOV, and instead, privately observe Trans Day of Life.

If you survive, that is the biggest revenge for the haters that are trying to destroy us. They celebrate every trans death. Survival of trans folx is failure to them. Make them fail!


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Category: Transgender Opinion


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