Being terrible at twitter, this is my first thread and it might be like, way too long? I've been told to use this:🧵 Stay with me if you can! #TransRightsAreHumanRights
This is a bit long but is important to me. Today a bill passed out of our state senate that bans trans kids from playing sports, with all GOP senators voting against an amendment that would have taken that language out of the larger bill.
I was fortunate to be in the room for the entire debate, and I have some thoughts that I'd like to share about those who bring this legislation forward and those who support it.
I wish they knew us better. I keep thinking this over and over when I think about these bills; this new hyper focus on preventing trans people from being included in our society.
At this point, I honestly feel lucky to have come out as transgender to everyone I knew before most people had any idea what I was talking about. There was more explaining on my part, but a lot less politics. There was a lot less understanding, but what felt like a lot more grace
These bills that come to legislatures year after year are harmful. I know there are people out there who fully support trans people being banned from a whole list of things or worse. But in my experience, a lot of people are split on this issue largely because they don't know us.
They hear this is simply to protect girls and women – which on it's face sounds like a good thing. The truth is, we are not the threat.
If they knew us better, the bill that came to the floor of the MN senate today wouldn't have seen the light of day because the truth is, transgender kids just want to continue to participate and be part of a team like any other kid.
This bill is not about protection, this is about who does and does not get to participate – it's about who belongs, and it seeks to divide us.
If they knew us better, the bills we're seeing in other states that ban trans people from gender affirming healthcare would be seen for what they are: a way to suppress who someone is. These bills do not stop trans people from being trans, they just make us miserable instead.
By the time I started transitioning with hormones, a lot of family and friends were still confused, and that was ok. People need time and at the same time, trans people need to be trusted that they know what they need.
A couple of years passed by and one night, my dad and I were in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner and he looked at me and said (this was over a decade ago so I'm paraphrasing), "You know, I didn't get it for a long time, but you're so much happier now. You seem like you."
My wish is that we had more grace in our politics like that. I've tried to have grace when I know people in my life need time, and I'm grateful that a lot of family and friends showed grace by trusting that I knew who I was even when they may have been scared or confused.
These bills have no grace because they don't consider our humanity. Our need, like anyone, to be trusted, our need to be included, and our need to have and experience understanding is missing from the conversation among those who propose and vote for these bills.
If they knew us better, they would know this has nothing to do with the protection of one group, and everything to do with the discrimination of another.
Yes, some know all of this and welcome these laws anyway, but I have known and loved many who just don't know us very well. My challenge to you, if all of this makes you uncomfortable because it is new, is to have grace and get to know the trans people in your life better.
These bills become very easy to see through if you take the time, and taking the time has such a huge impact on a small but beautiful group of people who are just trying to be who they are. #TransRightsAreHumanRights
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