I don’t usually like to write about politics, but mental health, which is the main focus of this blog, is political.
I found out late last year that one of my children is transgender. When “the one who will not be mentioned here” willfully took away rights for LGBTQ people, it was a tough blow, but the current President is an ally and is even hiring PA’s Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, to be Assistant Health Secretary. So, whether you agree with my political stance or not, mental health, especially for marginalized people, is very political.
I have learned so much in the past few months of talking to my daughter (AMAB – assigned male at birth) about her journey. So many parents claim to have seen signs in their young children with their clothing and play preferences, but I didn’t and that sometimes makes me question myself, not her. She is an adult now and will make her own decisions. For the uneducated, the terms that trans people use and prefer have changed drastically over the past few years. Gender is a touchy topic, but it’s a social construct. How you feel about yourself outside, as a male or female, for most of us, “matches” what is between our legs. For trans people, there is a dysphoria there. They feel one gender but inhabit the body of another. Imagine living your life like that!
Many of us dislike certain parts of our body, but our genitalia and our gender are such an important part of what makes us, “us.”
How can you be an ally to the transgender and non-binary (ENBY) community? Easy!
- Use the person’s preferred pronouns and if you don’t know, ask!
- Don’t make your relationship all about their gender journey.
- Support businesses that have space spaces for trans and ENBY people (this includes bathrooms)
- Support politicians and other community leaders who support trans and ENBY people.
- Teach others the correct terminology and learn it yourself if you aren’t familiar with it. Here is a list. Transgender Terminology – Transgender Trend