Beyond Visibility

In the past one of the biggest ideas pushed by trans advocates and activists was that trans people must be visible, we must show the world who we are and not be afraid. I can honestly say that I do not disagree that this is a vital part of our movement and is at the very heart of changing the hearts and minds of society. We have to show people that we aren’t a myth and more importantly that we are human beings with lives just like the rest of the population.

With that being said it is not enough to only be visible. For those scared and fearful of when they will walk into a public place and be assaulted being visible is an act of heroism. For those though who are out and proud and visible despite the fears, we must take visibility further. We need to engage the public. We need to share our stories in places that could put us at risk. When you are speaking at your church, this means engaging in public forums, this means sending letters to those in your life who refuse to get it and educating them. We need to shine brightly to the world, not just to the select few in our life that accepts and affirms our identities.

I know that for some these ideas are not an option. There is zero shame in being afraid and not wishing to put yourself out there. The dangers our community face are very real and often ignored by society. That is why those with the loudest voices and the brightest stars must stand up and shine for all to see. We need to be visible for those who can not be.

We have reached a point in our history where we must actively fight the powers that wish to subjugate us beyond how society already does. We must stand up and be visible in places that are outside of our comfort zones. We must say to the bigots and haters that we will no longer allow them to push us into social isolation and back into the closets where they want us. We must organize. We must make our voices heard. We need our trans leaders to step up and run for public office. We need to advocate for those with no voice and educate the public. We need to make things better and fix the issues in our society, and we can not do that from the sidelines. Visibility is no longer enough, and we must look beyond it!

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Melody Lewis