NOTE: I know trans men are also victims of violence. I wanted to focus on the recent murders of the trans women however as that topic pertains to me raising a trans daughter.
I have sat for days, seeing the many murders of trans women, trying to write up my feelings. Trying to express what's been going through my mind. All I could muster up is, I'm heartbroken. I'm hurting. I'm so, so very scared.
Trinity caught me crying after the recently reported murder of Dee Whigham and asked me why anyone would kill someone who did nothing wrong. I told her I didn't know. Then my conversation turned into one I didn't think I'd ever have to have.
Granted, while having three black sons, I've had some pretty serious conversations on what they'd need to do so they can come back home to me alive, this particular discussion was vastly different. Crying, I held her close and begged her to listen to me. I explained that while most will see her and not question her gender identity, when the time came that she found someone she liked and wanted to be intimate with, reactions could vary.
Ideally, I want to believe that by the time she's an adult and getting into relationships, our world will be in a better place. It will feel and think differently. Society will view her as not simply a trans person, but a beautiful, loving human being. Realistically, this may not be the case and we'll still be as we are now. At least some will be.
I told her to be careful. To feel people out before telling them. To tell them with someone present so she'd have protection just in case they lost their cool. I know she wants surgery down the road and I was so close to pleading with her that once she got it, to never tell anyone she was transgender. I know that's awful and very selfish of me, but my fear and my heart just couldn't handle it. I wouldn't be able to bear if someone took her from me because they didn't know how to be accepting and loving.
I wanted to say to her, just tell them you aren't able to have children. Tell them anything to hide yourself. Just so they won't know and won't hurt you. But I didn't say that. I didn't because I'm proud of who she is and who she's become and look forward to seeing who she'll grow to be. I refuse to let fear dictate my life nor will I allow it to stop hers from thriving.
So this is my message to the cowards who choose to take the life of a trans person, because you are cowards in my eyes...
I'm a mama bear and while I may not always be around to protect my daughter, she's got three pretty tough brothers and a strong father. She's got a village that stands beside her every step of the way. So when you do see her out and about, realize she's not alone. She's never alone. And you will feel that about her. You will not prevail in your hate. I'm watching. We're watching. And we ARE strong.
As is she.