Updated: Apr 10
While I may never understand entirely because I'm not transgender, I've learned a lot from the Young Professional Council Program I participated in with the San Diego LGBT Center and from my transgender friends, acquaintances, & social media role models I follow.
Sometimes, you don't need to understand everything completely; you need a heart full of love and empathy.
I do know that people don't just "turn trans" from watching a movie, or a drag show, or learning about transgender studies in school.
People who finally come out as transgender have already known, even if it took years while trying to stay afloat in a sea of confusion, and they're finally finding the strength and courage to do so. They likely have at least one positive role model or peer who loves and encourages them somehow, even if it's only online.
While I hope that any friend of mine would be an ally and that positive role model to someone who has just come out in ANY way, I know we don't always have the strength or feel secure enough to be. But I ask this of you:
Please never allow your fear or the unknown to compel you to mistreat, hurt, or bully anyone putting their lives at risk to be who they were truly born to be when they come out as trans. They've already lived through enough pain.
To my friends and acquaintances who have come out as trans, please know that I am VERY proud of you! If you haven't come out yet, you will always have an ally in me and a safe space.
To all transgender humans out there, you are all heroes to me and deserve every day to be your day of visibility!
If you want to learn how to be an ally, contact an LGBTQ+ Center or 501c3 organization specializing in assisting the LGBTQ+ community.