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.