Ignorance is NOT Bliss
Ignorance is NOT Bliss – Educate Yourself Before You Speak Out
The other day I became extremely disappointed in someone.
Someone who I used to consider a good friend.
Someone I grew up with and who knows everything my family and I have gone through these past number of years.
A few days ago my brother posted a link on his personal Facebook page to an article regarding Member of Parliament (MP) Rob Anders’ stance on the transgender rights Bill C-279 proposal.
Now, I could rant and rave about the ridiculousness of Ander’s statements alone. But that is not what this post is about.
Along with posting the link my brother also wrote and shared his own experience with the issue by adding this to his posting,
“People look at me shockingly when I tell them my bathroom fears… And then this bullsh*t happens. I wonder if any of these close minded people have ever taken the time to talk to a transgender individual. Chances are it’s a no.”
A few hours later, this comment appeared in response to my brother’s posting,
“what’s the big fear, you ain’t got a d*ck so use the ladies room yo.”
Obviously, my friend (well former friend now) missed the point entirely.
He apparently does not care that my brother is a transgender individual. Or what he goes through each and every day.
Does my former friend have any inkling about what it is like being my brother?
Does he know what it feels like to be almost beat up because people do not believe you are what and who you say you are?
Does he know what it feels like to be spit at?
Does he know what it is like to be called names? Ugly, hurtful and degrading names?
Does he know what it is like to be stared at?
Does he know what it feels like to be pushed in the chest and bruised while attending a friend’s wedding and being told over and over “you’re a girl, remember that!”
Does he know what it feels like to not be served in some restaurants or places of business?
Does he know what it feels like to have to hide just so that he and his girlfriend can catch a cab ride home? Otherwise, they get passed on by.
Does he know what it is like to bind your breasts so tightly you bleed all because you hate the body you were born in?
My guess? Not likely!
I do not know how my brother does it, but he dusts himself off and continues on. He does not retaliate either. He just tries to ignore it all and move on with life as best he can.
I asked my brother how he does this. His answer, “well after watching Mom die, I’m pretty sure anything else is easier to deal with. I just want to be happy within myself and for the first time I’m closer to that than I’ve ever been. And people can push me around and say things but I’m still alive.”
This from a person who has had to deal with all of the above. My brother is truly amazing!
Using a public washroom is one of my brother’s biggest fears and it always has been.
I remember when we were young how people would look at him (when we would enter the ladies’ room) and they would ask him quite rudely what he was doing in there. Boys weren’t allowed they would say. We would explain that he was a girl and that he was allowed to be there. They still didn’t believe us.
My brother still has trouble entering a public restroom. He sent me this picture the other day to illustrate how he and the many other transgender individuals feel before choosing what door to open.
I cannot imagine being scared to enter anywhere, let alone a restroom.
I take it for granted that I can enter without fear of either being yelled at, beat up, or worse.
But the world is different for my brother.
He does not get the same right.
And all because he is “different” from the norm.
What my former friend needs to learn is that the world is made up of different kinds of people. People who should be treated the same as any other. You know the old adage, the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Transgender people, along with lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, deserve the same rights that heterosexual people enjoy. They deserve to have the right to be considered EQUAL!
And most importantly, we all deserve to live in a world free from fear.
My initial reaction to my former friend’s post was to message him and ream him out for his comments. How dare he make such an ignorant statement? But then, I thought about it for a day or two and I realized it wasn’t worth my time. He doesn’t understand and probably never will.
If I had messaged him I would have said many of the same things I said above. But I would have also included the following analogy.
What if that transgender person was
… your best friend,
… your sister,
… your brother,
… your mother,
… your father,
… your son,
or your daughter…
Would you feel the same way?
Would you have the same reaction?
Or would you quickly dismiss them as you have seemed to have dismissed my brother?
Think before you speak because your words have power.
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