What We’ve Got

I feel like I spend a lot of time, on here in particularly, talking about what we, the trans community, don’t have but should have, need but aren’t allowed, and want but can’t have. Today I think I’ll focus on what we do have. Yesterday Rocco and Katz (better known as Katastrophe and Athens Boys Choir) came to perform. It was really great get some time with other transguys who are around the same point on the path that I am. Honestly I think we maybe got 20 min all together talking about specific trans-ish stuff, but it didn’t matter because I like them so much, its been about two years since we last hung out.  Both Rocco and Katz talk a lot about their pasts in their work, and I love how they continually reach out to the commonalities we all have. No matter where you grew up, or what your life was like, trans kids and queer kids have a rough time. We all know what its like, which raises the importance that we be there for each other.

Katz (Athens Boys Choir), me, and Rocco (Katastrophe) posing very professionally after some fun coloring time.

[image: Katz, JAC, and Rocco holding up pictures they drew. Katz has a beefcake expression and holds a picture of a  ranch, JAC is smiling widely- 3 bug-eyed birds that he draws all the time, Rocco smiling widely – a frog with a long tongue.]

There is something particular to be said about chillin’ with other folks who have an identity like your own. One of my students recently came out as trans. When I first met him, I recognized him, probably because I’d seen him around campus, or so I thought. As we talked it came out that he was born in Cincinnati, and when I asked where in the city, who is family was, my brain rushed a wall. I recognized him because I used to babysit him and his sister. Last time I saw him he was about six years old, and thirteen years later, he still has the same face. I just had to hug him, and joked that he caught the ‘trans’ from me. It was an amazing experience because I had a history with him, but not a school history or a friend history, a history of caring for him, knowing him when he was a tiny baby, playing with him, teaching him, watching him get bigger and more alive every year… Now here he was, all grown up and just like me (except a lot better at sports). Today over lunch, he and I talked a little about a couple different trans-related topics, and as I talked I kept coming back to the familiar spot where I emphasize the importance of how we, trans people, rely on each other as a community. Not that other folks in other communities don’t do the same thing, but trans people have such a particularly unique experience, these complex journeys of figuring shit out in a societal structure that speaks to our out nonexistence. And we come from all communities, all backgrounds, and the complex overlapping of socio-cultural elements, sexuality and partnering, gender expression, identity, and more. No one’s got this but us, and who better to know how to handle it but us, and those who have come before us. So we don’t have a ton of history documenting us, resources to help us, laws to protect us, or even communities to love and accept us, but we’ve got each other. And as long as we hold on to each other, help each other, we can fight to get the rest of what we need, what we deserve. So if you are feeling down or isolated, just remember you’re part of something bigger, and your fight is my fight. I’ll finish off in the immortal words of Red Green, “I’m pullin’ for ya. We’re all in this together.”

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