You might be wondering why there are so many more trans people or nonbinary folks today than ever before. Some have accused us of being a cult. Others call it a trend. Well there is actually a much simpler explanation that doesn’t require conspiracy theories. To put it bluntly it’s just safer for us to come out now than it was before.
What happened? For starters in June 2020 the Supreme Court of the United States of America granted us equal rights for the first time in this nations history. Let that sink in. Before June last year it was STILL legal to discriminate against trans people at a federal level. Even if a state had protections one could argue before a court the trans persons didn’t have rights.
What this meant was if you took the chance of coming out as trans to begin the long process of becoming your authentic self, you could face being fired from your job, evicted from your home, denied services including food stamps and denied access to homeless shelters. It was a difficult life for trans people. It still is. But we didn’t even have legal protections until just over a year ago. And they’ve been fighting to strip us of our rights ever since.
When I decided to come out was directly a result of this decision. I live in Texas, one of the many states that didn’t offer legal protections. I was also living in a very Republican controlled, confederate supporting county at the time. I was not only afraid for the reasons I stated above, but also for my own life. Coming out, transitioning did cost me a job in a way, would have cost me another and put me in a bind seeking replacement opportunities.
What you are seeing among older trans folks is since we now feel safer, and the anguish hiding in the closet causes us, we are finally starting to come out later in life, in droves. This isn’t a trend or a cult or something they put in the water to turn us gay, it is in fact how we always were but you never saw it, we were that good at hiding. The fact is society FORCED us to become deceivers. We had no choice but to blend in to survive. That meant using fake names, wrong genders and following societal tropes that emphasized our conformity all to deflect from ourselves. This is why so many of us were jerks as men, bitches as women, especially our nonbinary friends. Lying on a daily basis wears down your soul. Eventually you get to a point where you’ve had enough and have to make a change, consequences be damned.
So before you run off at the mouth claiming trans is a cult or nonbinary people are just following a trend keep in mind we literally had to live in fear until a year ago. Those who did transition earlier had a hard as hell time and those people are tough as nails yet buried under decades of trauma as a result. Society is not kind to gender nonconforming folks. At the very least you could be kinder to us and help spread that kindness around, after all we only got put on equal footing with you smack dab in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re exhausted from all the constant assaults. If you consider yourself an ally or even a friend to a trans, nonbinary or genderfluid person please remember to show us even more kindness than you give your aging grandmother, because we’ve live through hell to get where we are and we’re damn tired of the barrage of attacks on our very existence.