The Transgender Piece of the Puzzle
by Mila Madison
We are a society of divisions. Us vs. them, left vs. right or men vs. women, there are so many, just take your pick. We are all different pieces of one giant puzzle and sometimes it seems like we will never be able to put it back together again, especially when it appears to be in a million pieces scattered all over the floor. We are all guilty of taking sides at one time time or another. It is part of the human condition. We have a need to put everything in a certain box or give it a label. It is how we organize. We have categories for everything, all full of designated spaces. Some spaces we are born into and some spaces we join. It can be a belief or a tradition, a common struggle or a defense of something. We can find parts of the puzzle that seem to fit together so easily, and yet there are those that will never come together. That is society; it is one giant puzzle, with all the pieces trying to fit together.
“IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS SINGLE CATEGORY OUT OF THE MILLIONS I MAY FIT INTO THAT I AM IN DANGER OF LOOSING ALL THE OTHER ONES.”
I am many things, a parent and a sibling. I am a woman and a wife. I have my beliefs and the things that I like. I have my favorite baseball team, music that I love, TV shows and movies that I like to see. I worry about paying the bills and how my family will survive day in and day out. I wonder how I am going to give my kids the education they deserve. I am sure that I share these labels or categories with billions of other people in this world, but there is one category I fit into that is not so common to everyone, I am transgender.
It is because of this single category out of the millions I may fit into that I am in danger of loosing all the other ones. Because of one of my many pieces in this great puzzle, my transgender one, I have to struggle and fight to exist. Now we all have our struggles, but this one happens to be mine. I am fighting for the right of my puzzle piece to exist in the overall picture while others say it should not.
In America, the lines that divide us seem to reach their highest point during election season. We are bombarded constantly with political ads designed to make us take sides and even hate those who disagree with us. Social media becomes a war zone of dissenting ideas as people go back and forth degrading each other for who they are and what they believe in. Television becomes a wasteland of political division. With each election cycle the divides appear to get worse. We see violence, panic and anger. We see the worst in everyone and it seems like we will never be able to repair all the damage caused. Each time we go through it we come out the other end losing yet another piece of who we are as human beings.
In the middle of the back and forth is the issue of transgender rights. There are many questions to be answered, as my right to exist has somehow become a political wedge issue. It is one of many that were put out there to divide us, and it is a wedge issue that is heading to the Supreme Court in the next year. The winner of the presidential election will pick the next Supreme Court Justice who will most likely be the deciding vote in the decision regarding those rights. Though the prospect of this has me both terrified and excited at the same time, I find myself wondering why this is a political issue at all.
“FOR MANY THE ISSUE OF TRANSGENDER RIGHTS IS NOT HIGH ON THEIR LIST.”
For many the issue of transgender rights is not high on their list. Many only take sides on the matter because their team, Democrat or Republican, is either for or against the issue. What enrages everyone is the propaganda that gets fed to us on a consistent basis. It shapes the thinking of the masses. The truth is that most people haven’t taken the time to think about what it really means. Many are worried about other issues, and perhaps rightfully so given their personal situation. Besides, we only get to consider what divides us rather than what will bring us together. No thought is ever given to the premise of how we can all exist with each other. It is almost ever presented to us in that way.
On Tuesday, America gets to weigh in on the transgender issue along with a host of others that we are all divided on. I myself will be making sure I know where every person on that ballot stands on the issue of transgender rights, from local judges to the President of the United States. For me it is pretty easy. In order for me to consider any other issue I need to first be allowed to sit at the table. I need to have the right to exist before I can decide what is best for that existence.
My point is that regardless of what we believe or what we are fighting for, think about what we have become. Ask yourself if this is really what you want. Should we live in a world where the pieces of the puzzle are so clearly battered and rigid that they can’t be put back together? Or should we think about how we can fit those pieces? My hope is that we begin to figure out how to get along with each other. I hope that one day we will be able to say that even though we may not agree with each other, that we all deserve a seat at the table, that we are all just pieces of a puzzle that need to come together to create a “more perfect” picture.
Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!
Love and peace,