I am deeply saddened that trans people are still a target. For the purpose of this post, I collectively group all trans individuals together although I am painfully aware that trans people of color are an even greater target. However, this post is not about the color of ones skin as it is even more encompassing. It is about the human race in general.
I am shocked that we, as a human collective single out a minority group as target to feel better about who we are on an individual level. And that in itself is an oxymoron because how can someone feel good about themselves if they have the need to take away someone else's dignity and safety?! That is just mind-boggling to me. Misgendering someone, using wrong pronouns even after being reminded of the correct ones, staring, pointing fingers, or continuing to use the name that was given at birth is hurtful and traumatizing. It does not face me as cis gender at all if someone calls me ‘sir’ but for a trans woman or trans man being called ‘sir’ or ‘mam’ is hurtful and traumatizing. It invalidates who they are. Or if a trans man’s voice is too high / a trans woman’s voice too low, and s/he frequently is being referred to as “”he” or “she” or “her” or “him”, it is hurting the person. And emotional scars are much deeper than any physical scar. The emotional scar comes in form of negative thoughts or self-berating thoughts.
Many trans individuals are really good in letting “slips of the tongue” slide especially if a person is aware and apologizes but once the person is being made aware of their ignorance, not once, not twice, but three or more times, and they continue to use the wrong pronouns or name or misgender in any other way, it no longer can be considered to be a slip of the tongue. I get, that we all make mistakes but after being reminded three or more times, is it considered a mistake or ignorance.
Well regardless of the intention, enough is enough! We, as a human collective, should thrive to support each other, lift each other up and be kind and compassionate. We, cis gender folks, have to make an extra effort in getting it right! We owe it to our trans sisters and brothers to show respect and solidarity. We are one species and under that umbrella we all have the same right to exist, to be loved, to be respected, to be happy, and to thrive.
Let's find stability and peace within this mantra:
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
It means: "May all being everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."
Enjoy the video
We, humans, accept and understand that there is a variety of species that either changes or can change their gender throughout their lifetime or has both male and female genders. Protogynous hermaphrodites such as the cuttlefish, clownfish, frog or bearded lizard all change their gender throughout their life cycle. So does the salps. The male seahorse carries the eggs of the female and gives birth. We accept it all as part of nature and think nothing of it. Yet we do not accept it as normal in our fellow human beings!
Aren’t we all part of nature? Genetically we are 99.9% the same as the next person. Our closest living relative is the chimpanzee which is 96% genetically similar to humans. The Abyssinian cat is 90% similar, domesticated cattle shares 80% gene similarity, fruit flies share 61% of disease-causing genes with humans, 60% of chicken genes have a human gene counterpart, and even bananas share about 60% of the same DNA as humans!
So, what makes us hate and not accept each other?
It is time we look within and spiritually awake and come to realize that gender is a division of the human species we use to categorize male and female. Gender can be changed to reflect the innermost feelings of a human being which for many transgender individuals is necessary to feel wholesome. Why is it ok for someone to get a breast implant, cheek implant, eyebrow lift, nose job or any other augmentation of the body but changing ones gender is stigmatized. Native Americans recognize the term “Two Spirit” for someone when “their body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit, or a different balance of masculine and feminine characteristics than usually seen in masculine men and feminine women.” Others are non-binary or intersex. All is part of the vast carpentry of the great human Species.
So what it is that we cannot accept in someone who is genetically 99.9% the same as ourself! Is it our own thoughts we project onto someone else because we need to feel better about ourself? This then leads to the ultimate question:
What is it within our self that we cannot accept?
Watch these two TED Talks by Jamie Oliver and Sam Kass. Although both Chefs are focused on the food our children eat, it nevertheless is an eye opener about what our children eat and what we eat. Watch the part where he pours out the amount of sugar children drink within 5 years of elementary school. It is shocking!
The immediate goal of the No-Sugar Challenge is to cut out or at least lower the amount of sugar intake and to create a healthy habit. It is to raise awareness about healthy food choices and observe the change we will experience within the 45 days of Lent. We are using the excuse of Lent to get started. However, the long-term goal is to live a healthier life, to feel better physically and mentally, and to teach our children to live a healthier life. The food we eat affects our body and mind. Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (French lawyer and politician) already knew that when he wrote in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante in 1826, "Dis-moi ce que tu mangest, je te dirai ce que tu es" which means "tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach wrote, "Der Mensch ist, was er isst" which translates to "man is what he eats."