I train hundreds of people every year, covering many aspects of competency around transgender issues. I teach people how to use gender-neutral pronouns, how to make it right when they’ve made a mistake, how to create bias-free classrooms… and more. But one of the most common and hard to answer questions I get is this: How do I say the right thing all the time?
If you plan to take any public stance on social justice issues, trolls WILL find you. Their racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist diatribes will leak out all over your page. And when you leave them up, you are making the internet a more toxic place for people like me (and people like you!) who have to read it. I implore you— use a service to help clear your channels of these toxic messages.
So after much hemming and hawing, I've decided to pursue top surgery. I have so many fears about it-- taking the time off work and burdening my coworkers with my slack, healing time and the way that will impact Biff and the kids, out of pocket costs and how our budget can sustain that hit. But this is my Year of Yes.
When it comes to using the right pronouns, we want to be respectful and kind allies, but keep slipping up! We aren't sure how to handle hurting their feelings, using the right pronoun, apologizing, and making things right. The situation becomes awash in guilt, shame, self-flagellation, and judgment. Well, have no fear. This road has been tread before.
I often laugh with my friends because for years the media and politicians used the term “The Gay Agenda” to describe some big, scary set of goals that queer people wanted to push on everyone's children. But, it's true. We do have an agenda (at least I do). Only we're not trying to turn your kids into perverts... we're trying to turn them into compassionate, loving people.