31 March 2024

I'd also like to declare the International Transgender Day of Visibility a day that also sees those of us who are Transracial, since, as two separate groups, we will never make up a 'majority,' etc.

The purpose of sharing our pain is not so that we can all participate in the Victim Olympics.

The purpose of sharing our pain is so that we can let others hear that we understand the pain that we're suffering.

I read a thread on Threads by a (fellow transracial [my identifier, not theirs]) "black girl", adopted to white parents, who shared how she heard the n-word in country music that blared out of the vehicles of her 99%-white rural town. Hannah Matthews doesn't specifically describe the experience as pain, and she goes on to explain that Beyoncé's new album is changing the way that she experiences country music. That's a miracle. 

I replied by sharing one of my own transracial experiences as a korean woman adopted to white parents who also grew up in a very white, rural area.

The shared experience that Hannah Matthews shared helped me to feel less alone, and so, I shared my experience in hopes of helping her feel less alone.

And then, all of this (happening as i write) made me have a think about what it means to be "transgender" (i use quotes here to identify the sexual orientation as a term being thrown around within and throughout society these days), on this International Transgender Day of Visibility. 

I currently do not know anyone (that i know of) who identifies as transgender. I do know, however, about a friend from my childhood who was labelled one gender and who now identifies as another. 

Nevertheless, I do not identify as transgender, and I do not know anything about what it is/means to be transgender from personal experience, except through one person who was once a childhood friend but with whom I've had zero contact since ... grade school. 

We were children. As students of a teeny, tiny, private christian school (like, that crazy kind, the kind wherein girls must wear a dress on chapel wednesdays, who also must attend a "godly woman" class wherein we learn how to be "proper" women who have pretty hair, clothes, and nails, etc.) from grades six through ten (i left for the public school to finish out my junior and senior years of high school), it was abundantly clear that my friend did not identify with the way they were "supposed to" present themselves. This was VERY obvious. It was painful. By the time we entered seventh grade, I was figuring it out, and so, I started to call them by a different gender-specific name, and they seemed to like it. I received a nickname of my own from this friend, and then, we started calling each other these new names. But it was all just a joke, out in the open. Nothing serious. Nothing crazy. 

The thing about it, though, now, today, in my life as an aging millennial, nearly aged out of my youth, is that maybe this friend could see that I was also not named appropriately, based off of my obvious race, that differed GREATLY from everyone else's. 

My white name is Tiffany. BAHAHAHAHA! Can you believe it. My white-ass parents named me Tiffany and then threw my birth name in the middle. Tiffany Kim Sun Camas. Sure, I know other asian Tiffanys, but the thing is that I already had a name. I arrived in These United States two months before my fourth birthday, which means that I had been being called Sun, 선 (as in the fucking sun, not all asianlike, soon or sohn *barf*), for the entirety of my nearly four years of life. And then, all of the sudden, my white family either needed to make me theirs or they needed so desperately to make sure that I would "fit in," so they gave me some seriously-white-ass name. *vomits* (supposedly, my brother [also an adopted korean] chose my name, but the fact is that my name should've never come up as needing to be changed.)

Thus, perhaps my transgender friend also saw that my name did not fit my identity, just like I saw that their name did not fit their identity. 

We saw each other. 

But we ought not utter a peep about what we knew, out loud. To do so by them would be to make them racist. To do so by me would make me sexist and cruel.

Even in grade school, we were keen enough to be able to see that something wasn't adding up. And I miss that friend a lot. I always have. They gave me the greatest nickname I've ever been given. 

To see and be seen. What else is there to this life but this?

That desperation to be seen.

What else could it be but to be human, to socialize, to interact with our fellow humans?

But the sharing of one's experiences, one's pain is too oftentimes labelled as selfish, an expression of the ego wanting to compete in the Victim Olympics. The reality is that we all suffer pain. Some is more nuanced than others, and some is objectively more terrible than others, nevertheless, everyone's pain is painful to them. And so, to mock the expression of pain is to mock the very essence of being human. 

We are the cause of each other's suffering. 


Why do we do this to ourselves when we could be the cause of each other's euphoria? 

It's idiotic. It's moronic. It's truly counterintuitive. 

Do I agree with all of the arguments for transgender identities? Absolutely not. Do I fundamentally believe that there is obviously a biological difference between sexes. Yes, and it's a spectrum. But sexual orientation and gender are not the same thing. And since so few people seem willing to openly discuss these sorts of things (as they seem to be relegated to "conference-like" meetings wherein the non-believers are supposed to simply become enlightened, etc.) everything ends up sounding like hate. When maybe, the issue is that we're not taught to feel very many emotions beyond "happy" and "sad," "love" and "hate," cause being confused can rile a feeling that feels very similar to hate if you don't know how else to name the feelings you feel when you feel confused.

Identifying one's feelings requires practice. 

Like all things. 

If we refuse to feel, we refuse to be human.

And if we do not have the patience to teach each other how to feel, what are we teaching each other?

Happy International Transgender and Transracial Day of Visibility. Cheers to the weirdos!