How being a voice within the LGBTQ community is like being shoved into another closet
Recently I had someone from the Trans community reach out to me through the Facebook page for this publication. She was wanting me promote the messages of goodwill and hope that her “Civil Unrest Bicycle Club” was putting up on Portland area bridges. I really liked what she was aiming for but the belief that I am somehow in a journalistic position is where that conversation gets skewed.
Needless to say I explained my position in very straightforward terms…
Immediately after this response she said “OK” and unfriended me. This isn’t my issue. I was honest and forward. I did not try to placate this woman with “maybes” or “mights.” I told her the God’s honest truth, and her response was to write me off.
Is this the life that’s relegated to those who gain some level of stature? I surely didn’t start writing about my transition and the issues of the trans community to be treated like dog-shit by those within the community. If you disagree with what I say or who I accept myself to be, then why bother trying to be my friend in the first place? A friend is not someone you seeks to extract favors, but rather someone you relate to, and seek to share equalitive experiences with.
Catharsis is a wonderful thing.
Maybe this is going to end up short on context, but I am trying to make my way in a world that says I should “just die;” you know, because the narrative says I’m “mentally ill.” But we are the same. We should see one another struggle and lift one another up when we can.
I cannot do a lot for many of the people who reach out to me; believe me that causes me great emotional strife. But I refuse to be held emotionally blackmailed by people who seek to exploit my position.
I have done NOTHING that is beyond the scope of any normal individual.
I am only known because I chose not to go stealth. I made this decision for the purpose of giving visibility to a community that often knows the safest place is the shadows. This means that I expect that the brunt of judgement should come at me from the conservative/religious crowds; instead it seems more directly focused from within the community itself. Seriously, most of my haters are actually within the community; that’s a fact that has been really alarming.
So my question is this…
If you were me, and I was asking YOU to do something you are unable to give proper consideration to; or even offer a proper platform for, how would you respond given such a limited audience? The people who predominantly read my publication are already in the community. I cannot deliver a message of hope beyond my own…
I am here. I choose to be seen. I will continue to exist, and I will persist. Every breath I take is an act of defiance. Every step I take is an act of self-preservation. And every word I speak is proof that the naysayers have not crushed my spirit.
If that is the hope that you seek to put into the world, you do not need me waving your flag. That’s the hope that you need to put into the world. Take a breath, live out loud, and speak your truth. You don’t need me to do that for you.
At the end of the day, I’m just a truck driver. I work nearly 70 hours a week; I don’t get as much rest as I’d like, my spouse is dating outside our marriage, and I am very much alone whilst doing the same. This life is soul-crushing and lonely because I have chosen to live as the woman I feel I should have always been. I assume all the hurt and consequence that comes with that; but what really catches me off guard is being disregarded by people of equal circumstance. Just because I cannot help you does not make my existence devoid of merit; if we were only friends so that you could manipulate me, were we ever “friends” to begin with?
Mirrors are often an enemy of the Trans community. When you look at yourself, who do you see? Someone who can only be exalted by my voice, or a strong-willed person who takes full ownership of that reflection and all the consequence of that acceptance?
Are you an independent and strong individual who is ready to proclaim their own sovereignty, and their own public identity?
If so, be your own Kira. I’ll be right here cheering you on. I want to see you be awesome, but I can’t be awesome for you.
You need to do you!
Kira Wertz (she/her) is a married Transgender woman who openly identifies as pansexual. She is a top writer in LGBTQ for Medium, Editor of The Transition Transmission, and Professional Truck Driver. Kira is a strong advocate for Transgender rights, especially the rights of Transgender youth; she is a public speaker and panelist, and can often be found helping her local Transgender community. You can connect with Kira on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.