Turns out that we no longer have paints at home, yet another casualty of grown children. And so I’ve made my very first rally signs with marker and crayon. Seems like I’ve been to lots of rallies in the past few years after barely any before and I’ve always been too shy to bring my own sign.
While I’m not on the frontline when it comes to the plight of LGBTQ folks, I do know what it is to be marginalized, dehumanized and physically threatened so I’m showing up to listen and learn in the hope that others feel less alone.
It was 2013 when I noticed a non-gendered bathroom at my first born’s college. I ducked into it because I was intrigued and because it was closer than the women’s bathroom and mostly because it was private and I’m an introvert and bathrooms are sometimes the quickest place to regroup.
At some point, around the age of 50, or was it 40, the world started moving too fast, and I couldn’t keep up, and didn’t want to try. (My youngest talks a lot about Mars.)
When it comes to human rights, however, I have to try. My best. I know what it is to be invisible. To be marginalized. To be targeted. To be excluded.
Today I looked up the term: Gender Queer.
My youngest has long accused me of binary thinking when it comes to my use of feminine and masculine to describe what I insist are non-gendered qualities. I remind him that he’s ahead of me and that I’m still learning.
This summer when asked by older friend what I thought of parents allowing their children to be trans (she was furious), I answered that I was doing a lot of listening these days, instead of judging.
On the contrary, I do my best to ignore #45’s antics when I can. This is a survival strategy that I developed as a young woman when faced with the outrageous behavior of men addicted to substances, rage, power and privilege.
But sometimes attention is due, particularly when what He says further marginalizes those who are vulnerable, even if he’s saying it to galvanize fear in order to bend the arc of history further away from justice.
So to those who are marginalized by gender expression or identification, I may not understand everything and I may say some things wrong, but I’m with you. I want to be with you. I’m willing to be with you.
I’ll keep listening.
You matter. Just as you are.