Searching for a Reason to Exist
By Mila Madison
It is the one constant in the universe that I am sure can move beyond the capabilities of light. One minute you are feeling amazing, finally enjoying existence as your true self, then BAM!
It may have been something someone said. Someone misgendered you, or perhaps it is the news where you get to watch world fight over where exactly you are going to be allowed to use the restroom. It can be a family issue, work or a relationship. Sometimes it can be loneliness and despair. It could be the struggles of transition. It all just seems too far away sometimes, like you will never get there.
“WE RUN THE RISK OF LOSING EVERYTHING BY JUST BEING WHO WE ARE, BUT WE DON’T HAVE ANYTHING IF WE ARE NOT WHO WE ARE. IT IS THE TRANSGENDER PARADOX.”
I have experienced, still experience and will continue to experience all these things. It is an unfortunate part of the transgender existence in today’s world. People look at us and see something they don’t understand. They see the 41% suicide rate statistic and decide that we are mentally ill, but nothing is further from the truth. The truth is that just like everything else in the universe, biology is not binary. There are variations. We are not mentally ill, quite the contrary. Some of the most intelligent and stable people I have ever met happen to be transgender. The 41% rate comes from the constant bigotry and rejection from society. We get it from all angles, former friends, families and partners. We run the risk of losing everything by just being who we are, but we don’t have anything if we are not who we are. It is the transgender paradox. We are constantly forced to prove ourselves, to prove our truth, even though those who ask will not really listen. It can sometimes seem like an easier road to be part of that statistic, it almost seems logical at times, but I am here to tell you why it is not. Transgender people are not mentally ill, society is.
The problem with society is that most people live in a fishbowl. They are raised with a certain belief system. Everything is neat and tidy in their existence. Ideas and traditions are handed down from generation to generation. Most people wouldn’t dare question it. The reason is that it is safe in that fishbowl. There are privileges that go along with being in it. The last thing they want is some bright new shiny looking fish to come along and take up their space. They are afraid if people see and accept this great new fish with all it has to offer, they will no longer be so special. They are afraid they may lose their privilege, so they cling to it. They cling to their belief system because it tells them that they have the moral high ground, that they are better than everyone else. They are not willing to let go of the privileges they have. They see us as a threat to them.
“IF YOU ARE TRANSGENDER IN TODAY’S WORLD YOU ARE ONE OF THE STRONGEST, TOUGHEST AND MOST PERSEVERING PEOPLE OUT THERE.”
So I am asking you to not let these people get to you. Don’t help them by becoming a statistic. I am asking you to keep on going and to stand with us because we need each other. When you are at your worst, at your lowest, just think of the rest of us and about how we need you to exist. We need you in this fight for acceptance. If you are transgender in today’s world you are one of the strongest, toughest and most persevering people out there. Just keep going. Those dark moments will pass. Just keep fighting through it. However long it takes. Let us all be the reason to exist for each other.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us,
Love and peace,