My transgender child is terribly, profoundly depressed. They shower in the dark so they don't have to see their body. They are sleeping round the clock and even worse, I'm of two minds about whether this is a bad thing. I mean, of course it is, they're missing out on life, but on the other hand, I know where they are. More to the point, I know that they're safe, from themselves and from the ill deeds of others.
The thought that my child might never be happy is a paralyzing one. The thought that my child might not find love, sexual fulfillment and companionship is unbearable. I literally cannot bear it. I can't stand the idea that people see my child as a fetish, a novelty, a non-person, other-than, or an abomination. I am a white, straight, stay at home mother, the kind of labels a certain type respects, right? It must be said, however, that I am not nearly as nice as the person with the "unsavory" labels, the one who has been damned with apple-picked scriptures and exclusionary politicking. My child thinks the best of people, they think that most humans are decent and loving and forgiving. They are so certain that people are mostly honest and caring and intelligent. In other words, they think most people are like them; they see the world as good because they are so good themselves. I am not so sanguine, and frankly, not even a tenth as sweet.
The world is overly full of fools and criminals of late and I have even less patience for them than usual. Yes, yes, of course there are good people, always. There are amazing by any definition people, people who astonish and inspire, people who keep the world moving forward, who make life beautiful. But it seems like the fools and criminals are united to an absurd degree in their hatred of GLTB humans, waving around their Bibles and guns as if they were winning arguments. "Love one another" has been perverted into "Love one another the way we do, or else," and that "else" is turning the heretofore merely sanctimonious into evil-doers. Republican politics and Christian fundamentalism are precisely one and the same now, and they absolutely deserve to be called the American Taliban. If you are the rare, pro-abortion, pro-GLTB, only-in-the-party-because-of-fiscal-policies-Republican, congratulations, and my condolences. It must be lonely.
But not as lonely as being transgender, because, as if my child's life isn't challenging enough, there are people looking for a chance to voice their philosophies not just with hateful laws and legal loopholes, but with fists and knives. This isn't the usual send-your-kid-out-into-the-world-and-hope-for-the-best that all mothers contend with type scenario. I can't hope for the best because I know there are sub-humans actively gunning for my kid. For instance, my child wants to teach kindergarten after college. They've got the personality, perspective, artistic and teaching skills to be the warmest, kindest, gentlest of teachers, a dream come true for worried parents hoping that school will be a wonderful, safe, memorable experience for their young child, but the whole town-with-pitchforks scenario is a distinct reality and I can't stand it. The thought that there are people out there who want to hurt, torture and kill my baby makes me crazy. It doesn't just break my heart and make my blood run cold; it shuts down my usual sense of morality. It makes me want to return that pain tenfold, to offer up violence to the perpetrators. There is a part of me that I try not to think about, that I don't talk about; the part of me that knows that I could hunt down the animal who hurt my child and then sleep easy. I know it's wrong. That's why I don't talk about it, ever, but it doesn't make it less true. If you feel like judging me, go ahead and look up the youtube video of a teen being tortured by Russian thugs, solely because they are transgender. Picture your child's face on that bruised body. Spend five minutes researching "hate crimes and murders of transgender people." I am not with Jesus on this one. I will not turn the other cheek. I know that my rage is a coping mechanism, that I'm trying to leverage it like some kind of motherly superpower, as if the cold fire of my fear and love will hover around my child like a force field. Coping technique or no, criminals need to beware: I will walk you to hell myself if you menace my child.
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