So, why do I write about the trans experience and trans characters? Because I’m moved by their struggle. And because I’m ashamed that I cowered for years being afraid to stand up for what I knew was right — either for myself or for others.
When I first heard of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism, I wasn’t sure what to think. The TERFs claim to speak for women who want to exclude trans women from their spaces. And, at first, I thought, “Well. I’m a man: what right do I have to enter into a conversation about women’s spaces?” But then I realized something else: Who am I to determine whether or not someone is a woman? If someone tells me they’re a woman, I’m going to take to take their word for it. The alternative can only produce harassment of people who don’t look a certain way. Or sound a certain way. Or act a certain way. Policing people in this way is evil and cannot possibly lead to any good outcomes. It should rejected in all its forms.
In The Third Time’s the Charm, Revin realizes that he’s a man in a woman’s body:
“You know you asked before if I was a woman pretending to be a man or a man in a woman’s body?” Revin whispered.The Third Time’s the Charm.
“Yeah?” Will said.
“I think I know the answer now.”
“Good for you, lad. Be true to yourself!”
I encourage everyone to be honest with themselves. And I exhort everyone to encourage those around them to also be at peace with themselves. Let’s support each other.
In the end, I’m reminded of a presentation by Ibram X. Kendi about racism. He has so eloquently argued that the axis of racism is not between racist and not-racist. It must between racist and anti-racist. In the same way, it’s not enough to merely accept —and not oppose — transgender people. We must acknowledge their humanity and support them in choosing to be true to themselves. I don’t think anyone “chooses” to be trans because it’s easy — because it is manifestly not easy. Choosing to transition is choosing to finally be honest with yourself. I embrace my trans friends and colleagues and will do my utmost to ensure that our culture recognizes and welcomes them for what they are: fully-fledged members of our society deserving of the same rights and privileges as anyone else.