June 2, 2015

Call her Caitlyn, but don't forget to help

It's no secret that I support the LGBT community. I believe in equal rights, equal marriage, all of it. I believe people are people, regardless of their gender, sexuality, color, religion, etc. For me, it truly is that simple.

But I've been surprised at myself this week. Amid the gorgeous public display of affection for the newly revealed Caitlyn Jenner, I've felt...quiet. Introverted. For once in my life I've not been shouting from the rooftops in support of this fabulous new transgender woman.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm aware that her transition has been so amazing because she has the money, the means, for all the surgeries and the hormones and the supportive care. Maybe it's because I know so many more transgender people don't have those things. Instead they set up GoFundMe campaigns, or save their pennies for decades. Many trans people remain locked in their bodies through thick and thin, simply for a lack of funding to make the necessary change. Maybe that's what has me quiet...thinking of them.

Or maybe it's the support Caitlyn's receiving from her family and friends that has me pausing. Maybe it's because I know so many other families don't support their transitioning parents or siblings or children. Maybe her support has made me remember other people's lack thereof. 

Or maybe I've been quiet because the transition of a single person affected my life in such a profoundly incredible way that sometimes....even all these years later...I still can't talk about it. (Only sometimes...other times I need to talk about it, to wrap my head around it, to play the pronoun game, if only for a little while...)

But maybe I really know, without even thinking about it, why I've been quiet this week. Maybe it's because, somehow, Caitlyn's very public transition makes me remember too much. It makes me remember that there was once a doctor who told a person I loved that, if they were to transition, they would need to cut ties with everyone who'd known them before.

Everyone including me.

Sometimes, the idea that this could have happened, that someone I love could have been taken away from me simply because one doctor had bad data....well, it makes me nauseous.

Afraid.

Silent.

There's still too much ignorance out there. Too much misinformation. Too many people not getting the help they need, and too many families suffering.

I'm really thrilled Caitlyn came out and set such a beautiful and public example for transgender people. 

Now I hope we can piggyback on her success, and help others in need. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is an organization that does just that. Maybe, if you're one of Caitlyn Jenner's supporters, you might consider hopping over to the SRLP site and making a donation. Let's do something to help people like Caitlyn Jenner, albeit the ones without money and power and reality TV, to finally find comfort within their own skins. Everyone deserves at least that much. Don't you think?

I  know I do.

So please. Please help. If you don't like this organization, go find another one. There are plenty of people working to help the LGBT community. You can, too. 

And keep supporting Caitlyn. From everything I've seen, she's just now, for the first time in her life, stepping out of the darkness....and she'll need all the love she can get to learn how to walk in the sun. Good luck, Caitlyn, and best wishes to you and your family.

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