Why I’m Hopeful

The past few weeks have been emotional for me. With the exception of the days surrounding Massachusetts adopting same-sex marriage, I can’t think of a time when I’ve felt more personally involved in the struggle for queer rights. But unlike that joyful night in May, lately I’ve felt angry, and sad, and numb.

Angry because the tide of violence aimed at trans folks seems relentless. Sad because lives have been cut short. Numb because the passage of Proposition 8 came as no real surprise to me after the wave of legislation that came in 2004.

But in the midst of this, somehow I remain hopeful.

I’m hopeful because last week at a GSA meeting I heard a teenager speak more eloquently about transphobia in queer communities than a lot of adults I know could have.

I’m hopeful because I stood in Boston’s City Hall Plaza with some four or five thousand others lifting our voices to say we are not second class citizens.

I’m hopeful because even though the list of names at Trans Day of Remembrance grows longer each year, the circle of voices to read those names grows bigger too.

I’m hopeful because even though in Allston two men opened a window to yell “You motherfucking transsexuals, get the fuck out of our neighborhood” just moments after we lit a candle on the doorstop where Rita Hester used to live, a few minutes earlier a group of locals stood outside a bar and applauded us as we passed.

I’m hopeful because I believed Diego Sanchez when he said we are not victims, we are victors. Because I believed Judah Dorrington when she said we are not victims, we are survivors.

I’m hopeful because even as many queer communities turn their backs on their trans brothers and sisters, the trans community has always welcomed me with open arms as a friend and an ally.

I’m hopeful because without hope, there can be no action.

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