“Being who you are and unapologetic about it isn’t born of bravery. It’s born of necessity. There’s a paradox in wanting to be treated with respect and value while apologizing for who we are, yet that’s what happens when we internalize queerphobia. No one wants to feel safe from bigoted violence *if it’s not too much trouble,* or have their relationships treated as valid *if it’s convenient for straight people,* or treated as human *if we play by heteronormative rules.* People who are self-accepting want and need equal protections, equal rights, and equal recognition of their humanity. That means resisting toxic messages that urge queer people to hide, feel ashamed, or apologize for being queer. […] Nothing in your life need revolve around making straight cis people comfortable.”
– 3 Ways to Stand Up to Toxic Messages and Accept Yourself as a Queer Person
Damn. I really needed to hear this. I’ve been needing to hear this for a while. As proud as I am of my life, my love, and the person I’m becoming, internalized transphobia has caused me to tiptoe around many cishet friends and acquaintances. Because being gay (half gay? whatever) was one thing — (and, not to trivialize my or anyone else’s “coming out” experience, but being gay has conveniently become not only socially acceptable but downright trendy in some more radical social circles) — so being gay was one thing, but embracing my trans status is another. There is a certain shame that lurks in the corners of my mind that I don’t like to admit. It’s shame in response to internalized transphobia. Because being different is cool, but you don’t want to be “too different.” I’m abolishing that fear here and now.
YES, my gender identity is non-binary.
YES, I accept the current terminology of “genderqueer.”
(However, much like my feelings about terminology associated with my sexual preference, I’m not personally invested in the label; rather, I acknowledge its usefulness).
YES, based on the currently accepted queer classification of gender, my gender identity situates me under “the trans umbrella.”
YES, this means I am trans.
I will not apologize for the growth of my mind and heart and the personal acceptance I am finding (often with the help of a truly kick-ass community of people who are also queer as fuck and so very lovely).
In order to free myself from the attachment to ego, to identity, to the Self apart from others — in order to know the all-encompassing love of interconnectedness and absolute love, (Some may call this Divine Oneness, Awakening, or Enlightenment. The term, once again, is arbitrary.) I must first have a clear understanding of my current attachments. I must first know onto what sort of Selfhood I am grasping. This is a part of my spiritual journey. Therefore —
I will show myself the same compassion I show others.
I will open myself to conversations about my non-binary gender identity, my name (Jac), my pronouns (they/them/their), etc., and answer any legitimate questions anyone may have — but I will NOT explain, justify, defend, or water down who I am.
I learn to love myself better so that I may love you (all) better.
I learn to love myself more so that I may love you (all) more.