From a recent article in the NY Times magazine featuring Jill Soloway, the writer of the new Amazon program, “Transparent”, Ian Harvie, a transgender actor was quoted saying: “…We’re all trans. Don’t you see that we’re all trans?”
The writer of the article, Taffy Brodesser-Akner said, “But we aren’t, except in this way: We all struggle to become comfortable in the skin we were born into; we all try to uncover an identity beneath what was assigned to us at birth.”
And here I agree. So much of this life is about remaining. We are encouraged (by some) not to alter. Not to change what has been “given” to us. But so much of it is beyond changing hair color or attire. So much of it comes from a need to feel complete. To unite one’s insides with one’s outsides. And it is painful. And risky. But far better than living inside a construction site that you feel unwelcome in.
Trans is to move into another state or place.
Trans is to transform.
Trans is to translate. To surpass. To transcend.
I think more visibility is what is most important. To ask. To never assume one’s pronoun or gender marker. To allow space for someone to exist between binaries. To give humans space to be inconsistent if that is what permits them to live out loud. More and more movies and television programs with transgender characters and actors and genderqueer humans existing as well, is what we need to further educate those who are unaware or unsure.
There is never going to be just one way to be. There is not one kind of gay person or trans person. Or human.
We (can) exist to educate and inspire one another. So, ask. And respect one another’s vocabularies. It takes some people a lifetime to find their inner dictionaries and understand how to enunciate the body.