Sometimes we forget that our lives are not the only lives in this world. We get caught up in the day to day grind and lose track of the world around us, and that happens to most, if not all of us at least once. Hopefully when you read this it's with an open mind and I can give you a tiny peek at what it's like to walk a mile in my dad shoes. I'm not a dad, by the way. I just make the same noises a dad does when they stand up.
Sometimes we forget how important it is to try and understand one another.
Chances are, you’ve heard the saying walk a mile in my shoes.
Meaning, put yourself in another person’s position and think from their perspective.
I try to do this daily, but I’m not perfect.
None of us are.
Everybody is different, and so are our struggles.
Try ‘em On
If you’ve never struggled with your gender identity, please take a moment right now and imagine that you did.
Imagine waking up one day, and all of the sudden everyone is calling you the opposite gender’s pronoun.
And then it happens the next day.
And the next.
And the next.
Oh, and the next.
And it’s not strangers doing it. Your mom, your sister, your dad, your best friend, your teacher, your boss, your doctor.
You would probably keep looking in the mirror, expecting yourself to change into who everyone else kept seeing.
But you wouldn’t.
You would still see you.
Lace ‘Em Up
Some people forget that just because you don’t understand something or haven't experienced it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
I have felt the way I do about my gender identity since I was in Elementary school.
Yes, for that long.
I always felt like one of the boys, probably because I've always been one.
Something inside of me would just throw tantrums like a toddler looking for attention.
And you know what? I did need attention, I needed to spend time with myself asking those hard hitting questions that people are often too scared to ask themselves.
Who am I?
Why do I let other people define me?
What makes ME happy?
People every day are questioning their sexuality, gender identity and life as they know it.
Just because it is not vocalized, common or easy to communicate, doesn't mean that it isn't valid.
In my opinion, one of the most difficult things is the lack of understanding, or lack of wanting to understand, when it comes to being transgender.
Some people would rather try and prove you wrong instead of listening.
How can you argue about feelings you've never had?
The fact is, it's not just about my pronouns and how I look on the outside.
It's about finally living fully, authentically and unapologetically as who I truly am on the inside.
And all I ask for in return is respect.
And you don't have to understand someone to respect them.
Take A Walk
Again, if you are someone who has never struggled with these things, try removing yourself from the equation and try to get yourself in the mindset of someone who does.
Now imagine being that person, when they are being called the wrong pronoun.
When they are being berated with "facts" about how their feelings are invalid and wrong.
When they are being asked invasive questions about surgeries they might not have had or even want.
When they are being told their very existence is a disgrace to a God that they might not even believe in.
Are you starting to see what I'm talking about?
Sometimes when people don't understand you, they might take it upon themselves to fill in the blanks.
Such as maybe using the pronoun that they decided is right for you because of how they feel.
Or trying to give you lessons you never asked for on Science and the latest on the news, I think you know who I'm hinting at.
Or trying to use you as a free encyclopedia to answer all of their questions about what's in your shirt, pants and how it all works because they heard you were trans from a guy who knows a girl who knows a guy.
Or, last but not least, giving you an unsolicited Sunday sermon on a Wednesday afternoon to let you know that you are going to hell for living your life authentically.
I understand that not all religious people are like that. I know and love a lot of wonderful, accepting, and heartwarming people who are religious.
But unfortunately there are some bad apples in every bunch.
Get Some Water
How were my shoes? Comfy?
Probably not I just bought them.
But in all seriousness, sometimes it can be difficult to see the world from a different perspective and I'm hoping this little snippet from my brain and experiences helps at least one person understand or feel understood.
Or maybe I even educated someone who is struggling to understand these things.
Even today in a world of chaos, just know that you are not alone.
When you're having a low day, know that there are some people out there who understand you and share some of the same struggles that you may face.
Or, some may say, wear the same shoes that you do.
Point is, you are not alone.
Now go get some water, you probably need it.
Talk to you soon,