The Heart That Hurts

February 05, 2023

Content Warning: Mental health, talking about attacks on trans rights

This past week was a hard week for me, additional news of the right-wing attacks on Trans rights caused me to go into a downward spiral and I kept going down. I got low, one of the lowest I've ever been, only to dig myself out every day to try and focus on work. After work I'd collapse on the floor and just sob and spiral downwards, sometimes for hours.

It's hard to focus on work when your rights to exist are already being attacked in most of the states, and soon at the Federal level in 2024's election. I'm in a relatively blue state, but once legislation passes at the Federal level there's not much my state can do for me. I'm growing more hopeless by the day and each attack.

You might be wondering why what is happening in other states matters to me, if I'm in a blue state. The first answer is safety, picture I'm traveling from state to state, in some states if I get stopped by the police they'll treat me as a man, because that was my gender at birth. If I come across as resisting or argumentative, or the officer is having a bad day, I could get thrown into a men's jail. Another example is healthcare, in states like Tennessee providers can refuse to provide care on religious grounds.

If I'm flying to destinations, I try to fly non-stop but the risk is never zero, the flight could be rerouted, or forced to divert and land in an unfriendly state, if I have a medical emergency in a state that's unfriendly there's a good chance I don't get the same level of care as anyone else would. I could get much cheaper flights if I flew through some of Texas's airports, but Texas has proven to be an unfriendly state to women and trans rights.

The legislation in more states is getting worse with Drag trying to be banned, just by dressing how I identify I would be classified as breaking the law. We haven't even talked about bathrooms yet, it's physically unsafe for me dressed like a woman to use the Men's bathroom, at best men walk in and look confused when they see me, at worse I'm opening myself for physical or verbal violence.

I have family in these unfriendly states and I fear in the next 6-18 months I'll no longer be able to visit them. Every visit I've had to do since transitioning and coming out has been carefully planned, I know where I can and can't use the restroom, where I can stop and where I can eat. Sometimes having to wait many many hours while in transit until I get to my destination, and back to relative privateness. When I'm in these states I'm fearful of everyone I pass as I'm only one encounter away from a possible hate crime, except in these states it likely wouldn't even be classified as a hate crime.

The growing Fascist movement in the right-wing is only growing, making out trans people to be the political bad guy and is working to completely eliminate trans people from existence. They're starting by going after the kids, who have had medical professionals say gender affirming care is what's best for them and trying to stop kids from 'growing up trans', but they're not stopping there, some states are passing laws that raise the age of being able to transition past 18, and soon "people of all ages" might have their gender affirming care banned.

The point with all of this legislation is the cruelty and to effectively eliminate trans people from existing. I, along with many other trans people I know have already stated they won't be forced back. It's dark, and only getting darker. The sick part is that's exactly what the GOP politicians want.