Holidays Of Exclusion

I recently spent some time talking with a friend on Mother’s Day. She shared the hurt that she feels being a childless woman on Mother’s Day. Every single day she aches for a baby, but Mother’s Day just feels worse. In short, I can see why. Ads leading up to the day are geared towards loving and appreciating your mother. Stores are decorated with flowers, cards, and balloons. Conversations with friends center on whether your children are making brunch, or taking you out to dinner. 

As a result of my friend’s sadness, I really got to thinking about holidays of exclusion. Father’s Day. Valentine’s Day. Grandparent’s Day. We fill our calendars with them. It is unfortunate that a single date on a calendar carries such emotion.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way shaming those who celebrate these special holidays. I guess I am just taking a moment to save space for those who may not feel like they can celebrate like everyone else. For those who are reminded of loss and sadness. 

So, by now you might be wondering how this connects to the transgender community. It all boils down to exclusion. For some, this occurs day in and day out. Many transgender people are not only dealing with public shaming and exclusion, but also the cold disregard from non-affirming parents. Siblings that won’t speak to them. Doctors who will not treat them. Friends who disown them.  

Exclusion just hurts. So, how do we change this? My best guess is that it starts with us. Listening. Learning. And showing up in advocacy each and every day. As always, all are welcome.

4 thoughts on “Holidays Of Exclusion

  1. I wonder if society would make such a big deal out of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day if it wasn’t for all the companies trying to cash in on the whole shebang.

    1. I think it’s a really good point. And I’m not advocating that we stop celebrating our parents or our grandparents or any group of people. I just think it’s important to recognize that when a holiday is designated for a certain group of people, whether that be Valentine’s Day or Christmas or any other holiday there will be people who are excluded. When it comes to being a mother, father, grandparent, etc… it is very difficult for people who want to fall into those categories but are unable to.

      1. For sure.

  2. This is a helpful, enlightening perspective. The additional readings in the highlighted words were very informative. Thank you.

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