Multiple Gifts from Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Humans
My pronouns are he/him/his. I’m guessing you either already know that, don’t care, or don’t understand why I’d bother to announce them. From what I’m seeing and hearing in the zeitgeist, it’s quite possible that my naming them has even triggered you in some way. There are, however, people who likely do find it relevant. They are fellow souls whose gender is other than what was assigned to them at birth. Some are transgender — they change their gender from male to female or female to male. Some are non-binary or gender fluid in that they don’t identify with one or the other gender but, rather, degrees of both, in a way that isn’t static. According to Pew Research, their overall numbers as a percentage of our American population today are generally quite low: 1.6% of adults and 5.1% of adults under 30. Their numbers, however, are staggeringly high when it comes to being targets of violent discrimination. Their numbers are staggeringly high when it comes to being targets of legislative discrimination aimed at restricting their rights and freedoms as American citizens. Their numbers are staggeringly high when it comes to risk and harm to their mental health and physical health. Their numbers are staggeringly high when it comes to suicide and teen suicide in particular.
Of course, I am not an expert in any of that. I am an American citizen who champions conscious practice and who is obsessed with applying it to American politics. Conscious politics is rooted in compassion, which is about making room for everyone, and I offer up my pronouns on the off-chance that if a trans or non-binary person sees them, they will feel a little more included, a little more seen, a little less alone. Same for asking them their pronouns — and using them — even if it once took me a minute to wrap my head around seeing one person and addressing them as they. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t that hard.)
But the degree to which people resist offering such niceties is also quite staggering. I’m not talking about politically right-wing, often religious zealots whose consciousness will never allow them to make room for people they deem to be sub-human. I’m talking, albeit anecdotally, about people who generally support human rights for all humans. People who are typically conscious or spiritual or politically progressive or reliably leftist. People who may be cisgendered and gay, people who may be cisgendered and racially marginalized, cisgendered and religiously marginalized, cisgendered and physically disabled, cisgendered women — people who know something about being othered and who would otherwise love to see us all living in peace and harmony with room for everyone. People who say things like:
They? It’s one person.
So today she’s a boy?
There are like lots of genders now and anybody can identify as anything. I can identify as a fish right now. I’m a fish.
There’s no objective truth!
She said she was going out. Wait! Sorry. They said they were going out. That’s fucked up.
And if I don’t get it right, if I say the wrong thing, I’m a bigot. Me!
So someone who has a female body but changes her gender to male, then gets pregnant and gives birth as a man, just further persecutes and diminishes women by taking away one of the things that makes a woman a woman — giving birth. It’s not fair. There’s no objective reality anymore.
Gifts, you say?
Gifts, I say! Right now I see three massive gifts that the transgender and gender non-conforming cohort of Americans, writ large, have given to we the cisgendered people. First up: the opportunity to grow our compassion muscles. If compassion is the linchpin of the new consciousness — and it is, if cultivating compassion is equal to cultivating the new consciousness — and it is, if somehow it is harder for us to make room for trans and gender non-conforming people than it is to make room for other people, then there it is. The practice isn’t to be compassionate when it’s easy and fun; the practice is to be compassionate period. The degree to which it may be hard to do is the degree to which it is soul-level work, said every conscious politics practitioner ever. We are here for a reason (and the reason is often stuff that’s hard).
Second, the whole thing about there being no more objective truth or reality — something that is true for everyone — is, arguably, precisely what it means for a paradigm to shift. I used to believe that when we die, it’s over; we’re worm food. One day that belief crumbled and the belief that I’m an eternal, spiritual being having a human experience supplanted it. Caterpillar to butterfly. Permanent change. Paradigm shift. Thus, “no objective truth” is, itself, evidence that a paradigm shift is happening. Everyone used to believe that boys were boys and girls were girls, end of story. Now some of us are saying hold up now. Wait. Not so fast. Not necessarily true. Look at me. Look at us. We are here for a reason, too. The boy-girl binary, a bedrock of the old consciousness, is crumbling because trans and gender non-conforming people are rendering it obsolete. As they do, they become (perhaps unwitting) leaders in ushering in the new consciousness. Such leaders are a gift.
Third, can we all just absorb for a moment what non-binary actually means? It means neither one nor the other but some of both, in varying degrees. Alpha and omega. Both and. Everything is one thing. Gender-fluid humans literally embody unity consciousness and give us the gift of seeing up close and personally what unity actually looks like, inspiring us all to create more of it.
So I hope you’ll join me today, conscious politics practitioner, by seeing the tremendously valuable gifts our soul siblings give that boost us up and into the new consciousness — by virtue of the the trans and gender non-conforming human experiences they’re having. I personally offer this issue as a thank-you note to them and I invite you to co-sign.