Well, Pride month is over and I find myself asking just what, exactly, am I supposed to be proud of? I honestly don't know, maybe someone can explain it to me. I can't say that I'm proud of being transsexual, I'm not ashamed of it, either, it is what it is. I'm also not proud that the sky is blue or that grass is green. Should I be proud to have a condition that, by some estimates, 1:500 people have? Are people proud of being blind? Diabetic? Clubfooted? I consider being born transsexual to be an unfortunate circumstance, one which I hope to correct at some point.
Should I be proud that over 50% of us attempt suicide before age 20? Should I be proud that over 31% of us succeed in doing so? Should I be proud that my life has been marginally good enough to keep me from killing myself? (Not that the thought never crossed my mind!) Should I be proud that we're 16 times more likely to be the victims of a hate crime? (this estimate sounds a bit high, but maybe?) Should I be proud that because of a healthy degree of caution on my part, with a heaping helping of plain old-fashioned dumb luck, that I haven't become a statistic yet? Should I be proud that this could be the last thing that someone ever reads?
Should I be proud that many of us live far below the poverty line? Should I be proud that many of us become unemployed, underemployed, unemployable, and homeless just for being who we are? Should I be proud that some of us have to sell our bodies just to survive? Should I be proud that life saving emergency medical treatment can be denied or delayed if it's discovered that we're transsexual? Should I be proud that most insurance companies won't even pay one thin dimes worth of transition costs? Should I be proud that many of us risk our lives and our health by resorting to DIY HRT and silicon ''pumping parties'' because of the outrageously high financial cost of doing transition the right way, and the ridiculous hoops that some ''gatekeepers'' make people jump through? Should I be proud that we barely rate high enough to be considered third rate citizens? Animals are treated better!
Should I be proud of how the media constantly misrepresents us to society? Should I be proud that some of us actually help to perpetuate the misconceptions? There's an old phrase that bears repeating; one ''Oh, fuck!'' wipes out at least ten ''Atta girls!'' (or ''Atta boys!''), and we have more than our fair share of ''Oh, fuck!'' moments. Should I be proud that, year in and year out, the public face of trans in Pride events worldwide is gay men in really, really bad drag? Should I be proud of the constant freak show on Springer? Should I be proud of the clown who jets around the country wearing nothing but a bra and panties? It's no wonder that the cisgender have bathroom panic! Yeah, I know, lighten up, it's just in good fun, after all, Blackface and mocking the handicaped is hysterically funny, too, right?
Making ourselves look like circus sideshow attractions every June doesn't do anything to help us. Let me make one thing really, really clear; in-your-face, out, loud, and proud has never, and will never, accomplish anything but creating backlash from mainstream society. Gays and lesbians have achieved what they have in the last 40 years not because of pride, but in spite of it.