The Trans community recently celebrated Transgender Day of Visibility. This is a day we remind ourselves and the world that we exist. That there are Trans folks all over the world. I would like to share the speech I gave in Oceanside. I was so honored to be asked to speak at their event.
“Good afternoon. I am so happy to be sharing this special day with all of you up here in beautiful Oceanside. We are here today to show our greater communities who we are. To be visible, to be out and proud.
The definition of the word visible means “able to be seen”. For too long we were not seen, we were hidden away by society and by ourselves, like a dirty little secret. I am here to tell you we are NOT dirty, and we no longer have to be a secret. The world is ready for us, whether they know it or not.
We cannot change how the world feels about us if we stay hidden away. Our communities cannot know who we are if we don’t show ourselves. The medical community will never evolve if we don’t demand better care for all of us. Law enforcement will never be educated or change their perception of us if we remain silent. Our schools will continue to allow bullying and disrespect if we don’t challenge them to do better. Employers will not be truly diverse without us. It is time WE take hold of our own future. It is time we demand to be treated with the dignity and respect that we deserve.
I also challenge all of you to be visible to each other. Trans folks, do you know and understand your non-binary and intersex siblings? Do you, our non-binary and intersex folks know your Trans siblings? Are we being inclusive within our own community? Do we uplift and respect each other? How can we expect others to respect us if we are not being inclusive and respectful to each other?
And here is the biggest challenge of all. Are you visible to yourselves? Do you love and respect yourselves? Do you know who you are? Are you proud of your authentic self? You should be.
Our road isn’t always easy, we need to give ourselves and each other credit for our hard work. We need to forgive ourselves any wrongs and celebrate all we did right. We need to be proud that we made it to today, right now, gathered here together to celebrate us. We have lost too many in our community; we must do better. We must take care of those who do not have safe spaces to be out, loud, and proud.
We are fortunate in Southern California to have many cities and towns where we are free to live our lives as we please, but there are still pockets of hate everywhere. Support your siblings, go places together, make sure everyone has access to support groups, social activities, and community events. Give someone a ride, if the bus is dangerous or there is no access to public transportation. Participate or create clothing and food drives. Put on a show or attend a show. Plan a day at the beach or the park.
I ask that no one remain a bystander. It is too important right now for any of us to remain waiting for others to carry us along. Never say there is nothing you can do to help, because there is always something you can do. In person, online, in your neighborhood, and in your community.
OWN IT, BRING IT, EMPOWER IT
You are all so amazing and talented, never doubt that. Together we do this… Together is a better tomorrow. Now go ahead and give yourselves a big hug and a pat on the back, because you are here being your true beautiful selves.”
A reminder, on April 8 at 6 p.m., Project Trans, at the Center, and San Diego Pride will livestream our annual Transgender Day of Empowerment. This is a day we celebrate the Trans community. We highlight amazing community people who have gone above and beyond to help make our community a better place. San Diego Pride will livestream from their webpage sdpride.org. The Center will livestream from their Project Trans Facebook Page. Please join us; all are welcome.
San Diego Pride will be looking soon for volunteers for Live Pride this July, I will keep you posted on the sign ups. You get a pass to Pride, a great T-shirt, and get to work and have fun with the most amazing crew of volunteers ever. Join us!