Asking for a Friend

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I recently heard from a friend who walked in the Women’s March and she expressed dismay that not all women felt that they were included in the march.   She wrote that “the march I participated in was open to all activism . . . whether that be LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, income equality, BLM . . . whatever. The point of the women’s march is that for too long women have held their tongue and kept to their place . . . so yes, many women weren’t activists before, but the Trump presidency was what shook them into the streets. Why is that criticized? Why are white women in particular being criticized by both the Christian MFL groups and the left? It makes no sense to me. Maybe I will be jumped for saying this and called privileged . . . but I honestly don’t get it. The hat doesn’t matter at all. The spirit in which we marched does.”

“I am deeply offended by the response of some of the LGBT community to the women’s march. I have advocated for my trans child fiercely. Spent the night in the ER last night after he had a breakdown partially driven by the Trump religious exemption rule for healthcare workers. Allies are vital to this fight. I have every right to march and will not be made to feel less than because I’m white. It’s divisive and unproductive.”

So, I’m asking for a friend, what are we doing to ourselves?  We are one of Trump’s primary targets in rolling back our civil rights.  Who are we to say you can’t stand for my rights?  You don’t know me!  You don’t know my story!

If you want me to accept your narrative, then you must accept mine as I have experienced it.

Any women who stands with their trans child must be elevated to the highest ranks of respect.  But if all you see is her whiteness, and loss sight of who this person is, then shame on you!

My friend’s young trans child needs to see a community willing to embrace this woman who embraces them with acceptance, advocacy and empowerment.

If you can see that the person in front of you is not simply wearing a pink hat, or is white and has never marched for a cause in her life, then you will have embraced the core principles of not just the women’s movement, but the depth of what it means to be in community with others. To have compassion, empathy, and love for self and others.  With out this we are lost.

So, I’m asking for a friend, what can she say to her young trans child, who was so in crisis because of the assault on trans rights by the Trump administration that they ended up in the emergency room, to make this them feel safe and empowered in the truth of who they are?

Surely, the compassion you are bound to feel for this sibling of ours must overcome one’s own ill-conceived notions of others, forcing us to look beyond both skin color and experience.  Anything less holds us back from our full potential as a global LGBTQ+ community.

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