Today is apparently a day to remember transpeople/genderqueer people who have been killed by hate violence, so I felt obligated to post. Trans issues are near to my heart, because quite apart from the noble idealistic "everyone deserves to be loved and respected for who they really are" sentiments, I've had to think recently about my relationship to gender. I've always identified with male characters in books, mostly only wanted to dress in men's clothing, tried on boys' or gender-neutral names, and generally spent a significant portion of my life being unsure about my own gender. I've gotten used to other people thinking that I'm a guy -- recently, a relative I hadn't seen in years mistook me for my elder half-brother -- and to getting funny looks, even questions in women's bathrooms. I always brace myself, going into bathrooms.
Sure, just recently I've had confirmation that being a woman is as important to me as not having to be feminine, but still, I have a great deal of connection to those issues, particularly since I recognize that other people's perception of me is such that transphobia can potentially hurt me. And it frustrates me that a casual poll on a GLBT social networking site showed that a full quarter of all respondents didn't consider trans issues relevant to them, and that high-profile GLB activists and even the Human Rights Campaign were willing to drop transgender protections from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to increase its odds of passing. The trans community is comparatively tiny, very much discriminated against, and very vulnerable, and that so many people are willing to leave it to fend for itself is shameful.
once that at the end of the world, everyone will be called up before God, and divided into two groups. One group, God will praise, saying that: "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." They will ask when, and God will tell them: "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Then God will tell the other group that they, having not done these things, are damned, and when they ask when they failed, will say: "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."
I don't know if I believe in a concrete heaven and hell after death, but I do know I believe in this image of the righteous and the unrighteous, and it's just a pity that this particular teaching of Jesus isn't much more commonly known. In this case, turning my back on the trans community, so small and vulnerable as it is, would be like those who let God starve in the parable. And I promise you, trans community and God (for you cannot be separated) that I will not do that. I will stand with you until the phrase "trans ally" is meaningless because there are no more enemies.
(Crossposted to spacelogic
. Thanks to BibleGateway.com for quotes -- the story starts at Matthew 25:31 for anyone who wants to look at it in more detail, and these quotes are from the New International Version of the Bible.)* Probably. While some of the things Jesus is alleged to have said may have been invented because they matched what early Christians wanted to believe, this particular story goes against the notion of justification by faith alone, which was quite early a popular belief, and is thus reasonably likely to be true.