We toss the word Equality around a lot but what does that actually look like? What does Equality actually mean to each of us? It can be a very tied up, overused word but one of the best definitions I have come up with is that not one person should be judged or held back based upon their identity, social status, characteristics or interests. Equality means that we should all be affirmed for who we are and have the same chances in life. Obviously, this is not always the case but what we can we each individually do to make this definition more true and prevalent in our lives.
We live in a really cool world right now, where one has the chance or ability to truly discover their true self. Although some will still judge choices, the culture is changing to being more open to discuss the topic of transgender. Today marks the annual Transgender Day of Visibility, where the conversation can become more open and honest to support those in our lives to be their true authentic self. The importance of this day goes far beyond just today. It is about finding a way to speak up for those who have less opportunity and privilege in our society. It is about showing up 365 days a year and supporting one another. Just because you do not understand a lifestyle does not mean it is wrong or bad.
During the photoshoot you see strung throughout this piece we were able to create a safe space to better understand some of the trans people in our own community. One of my most important takeaways is that we are all just humans with different stories. Trans people exist all over the world and in every career, and because of that are some of the bravest people you might meet. Especially in the midwest they may not have been given the correct resources while growing up to fully understand how they were feeling. As time went on, to be able to breakaway from what you know as “right” and find your honest self despite what others tell you is the bravest act.
Our current political climate threatens some of the rights of many different groups of people right now. If we can use our current situation to drive us to do more, to be better social justice warriors and stand up for those who do not always have a voice, we can help create a safer environment. This topic might make some people uncomfortable or not know where to start, but the best way to do so is to be present. Treat every human with respect and do not stay quiet and learn how to start tough conversations. We cannot make any changes if we are not constantly challenging ourselves and our own beliefs. Growth truly stems from pushing yourself into awkward situations and continuing to question who you are and what you stand for.
The biggest takeaway from trans day of visibility I wish everyone can understand is that we are all humans with different stories. We are all beautiful people that just want the safe space to be our true selves and we can all help create that space by being there for one another.
Just because something is not how you would think or act, does make it wrong or inappropriate; it only means you should question and open your ears and heart to better try to understand others. Make it your goal today to show someone in your life they are loved and appreciated.
Until next week,