Trans Talk with Connor
As the holiday season descends upon us, I would like to give these gifts to you all. They were given to me as I grew, it’s time to pass them on.
These gifts are meant to be used and re-gifted to whoever you like. These gifts are great to be given to a neighbor, even if you don’t know them. A friend, coworker, or even that jerk at the bus station, the homophobic supervisor or that transphobic HR person. So many people out there could use these gifts.
They were all gifted to me as I was learning my life lessons. I took a few bumps along the way, but it was worth it. The boxes are wrapped as you see them. Whatever color, picture wrapping or plain, big bows or skinny ribbon bows. It will be what you see because these boxes are about your truth, your values, your glitter, your outlook on life. What kind of box are you?
Box No. 1: Education
Now this is a huge present. Enjoy it, read what you can, watch educational programs, listen to podcasts. Talk to someone who is from a different culture, gender identity, sexual identity or anything that is different and get to know them as a person. Think about new ways to educate yourself. Read about, then talk to a trans person and ask them questions that popped up for you but ask before you go “down under” with those questions please. This is a very powerful gift. Use it wisely.
Box No. 2: Education postdoc
So now that you are so smart, you want to continue your education. This gift will let you learn all about transgender people. This will be an in-depth study and part of this program can be very difficult. So here is the basic outline: Who they are, their struggles, why they hide, how you can be a better ally. Name, pronouns, explanation of genders. Gender-nonconforming and nonbinary folks.
If you identify as transgender, your postdoc will encompass time to learn about the gay community. Who are they? What are they all about? What terms do they use for identification? How are you alike? Not alike?
Box No. 3: Food
This box is about eating food. Meals are part of every culture on earth. As the holidays are coming, think about asking someone you haven’t seen in a while to lunch or buying lunch for a person off the street. Better yet, sit down with them and get to know them a little bit. Invite someone you know who is transgender or nonbinary, from a different country or culture and share a meal. Get out of your comfort zone and travel to San Diego’s other neighborhoods and enjoy some amazing food. Do something uncomfortable until you are comfortable and keep asking yourself what is making you uncomfortable. Tough honesty is encouraged here.
Box No. 4: The challenge!
Are you up for it? As the next year begins, you will find in this box the staff of protection. Take this staff and it will give you courage. When you believe in yourself, your journey of protection can begin. From now on, you won’t be that bystander, or the window watcher, or the see-something-do-nothing person anymore. From now on, you will call 911, or stay with a victim, safely follow the bad guy for police, grab that poor puppy before he is smooshed. Be the protector for yourself and those around you! Do what you can in the safest possible way. Do not go over your limits. But do something. Are you up for this challenge?
Box No. 5: Talents
Inside this box is some fun stuff. Do you have a talent? Can you sing? Dance? Play the oboe? Anything? Do you skateboard? Paint? Fastest hotdog eater on the boardwalk? Well, don’t keep these fabulous wonders to yourselves, share them. Tutor a trans or gay kid, they will feel safe with you, so will mom. You can teach grownups too. Offer to play at a nursing home, or one of those low-income housing places. Find some friends and put on a street concert for everyone. Perform your talent for kids at Rady’s. Just share whatever it is you do. It will make you feel like a million bucks. Where do you find a kid? Go ask your mother. Seriously, contact local schools or music or art teachers. LGBTQ youth programs like The San Diego LGBT Community Center has and San Diego LGBT Pride. You will find what is meant for you to do.
Box No. 6: Ring of fate
No. 6 was given to me after I quickly traded No. 5 away. I believed I had no talents. But No. 6 is a pretty box but what’s inside, well, it was totally me. Maybe it is totally you, too.
This box has the ring of fate. If you put the ring on, it will help lead you to find which places need you to volunteer. There are hundreds of places and all kinds of jobs to volunteer for out there. Don’t give me that “I have no time.” Stonewall Patrol, for example, asks for three hours a month — who doesn’t have that? Who knows, maybe the love of your life is there, or your new contractor, real estate agent, a Pride trans guy who can help with name and gender paperwork. To top it off, you will have such a blast, meet so many wonderful people and you might work so hard, you go home and collapse. While all these new memories circle in your brain and you smile that stupid smile on your face, wow what I day I had.
Box No. 7: The box of love.
This is the best box of all. Love is a funny thing. It has so many different meanings. It can be found in many different places and from many unusual suiters. The trick of it is, try to learn to recognize real love and grab hold of it. Love for who they are, not what you want them to be, love doesn’t mean control or lies. Love is love.
Happy holidays to you and yours.