Trans Week -We all Need to Come Together - Transgender Universe

It is trans week and this week’s rant is about all of us and those we have lost. It has been a crazy year and we have been able to raise awareness of our cause to levels never seen before. As great as this is I have grown concerned by some of the division that has taken place in our community.

Caitlyn JennerJust recently Caitlyn Jenner spoke to a group of 1,000 people at the 7th annual Speaker Series luncheon for the Chicago House, which provides social services for those impacted by HIV/AIDS and other LGBT issues. After her speech she confronted protesters on her way out who were members of a group called “I Ain’t Cait”. Though this made headline news the real story here is the division of our community. Let me be honest. The “I Ain’t Cait” group has a valid point. Caitlyn Jenner does live a life of privilege, fame and wealth. The group also points out the fact that many in the community don’t have access to the simple things that Cait and some others do. They have it much harder and that is the reality. The further you go through the spectrum of race the harder it is for some of us. But is Caitlyn Jenner not one of us?

“If we cannot overcome the diversity within our own community, how are we going to be able to get the rest of the world to accept us?”

I’ll admit I was really worried when Cait was about to do her interview with Diane Sawyer. I was worried the interview would set us back a decade if it ended up being a joke. After hearing her speak about her transgender experience I realized she had gone through many of the experiences that we all do. Her story was not that different then our own in terms of being transgender.

This gets to my point. We are a community just as diverse as any other. Though we are transgender we are gay, straight and bisexual. We are Democrats and Republicans. Some of us are Atheists, Christians, Muslims and Jews. We are white, African American, Latina and a myriad of all different backgrounds. We are all these things just like society in general. If we cannot overcome the diversity within our own community, how are we going to be able to get the rest of the world to accept us? We need to do this now. We must all come together regardless of our differences and be the example to the world. This is key to our gaining acceptance. We all must work together.

So is Caitlyn Jenner one of us? I say she is. Is she our spokeswoman? No she is not. We are all the spokesperson for our community. Let us remember that. Caitlyn is one of them. She may have a bigger platform because of her privilege, but that does not make her more important than the rest of us in trying to achieve our common goal. We should all be concerned about the issues the “I Ain’t Cait” group brings up, including Caitlyn. They are 100% valid. Let’s just not divide ourselves in the process.

I want to also send my love and prayers to those we lost, their friends and family. We have made great progress but as I always say we still have much work to do. Please share your thoughts and have a great trans week.

Stay safe and keep fighting for all of us!

Love and Peace,

Mila Madison

  • Caitlyn Jenner’s motivation, for her highly public engagements, is exposure and image. That is my POV of her transition. I lost initial respect for her within the first 30 seconds of her interview with Diane Sawyer. Again, my POV. She wasn’t honest with herself, so how could I(anybody) honestly understand? She was all about saving face for her reality show; a publicity stunt, in my opinion. I applaud her decision to be true to herself, true to what was inside driving her to follow her path to her happiness. All transgender individuals have the same drive to be true to themselves. Still, I would like to give Caitlyn a hug and chat over a coffee –the great equalizer(in my opinion…).

    Her status provides Cait a privilege nary a handful of transgender individuals have at their disposal. Personally, I have Tyrannosaurus Debt, earned estrangement of family and friends, gained respect from family and friends, and achieved a self-worth not possible had I not transitioned. Behind the glass curtain, I am sure Caitlyn has the same experience. Our experiences are different, yet the same. Snaps aplenty!

    There will always be supporters and detractors in any group. Not all white males believe in or are a member of the NRA. Many white males are pacifists. Can they be friends and respect each other’s POV over coffee? Perhaps. Same holds true for the
    LGBT community. Some of you out there may disagree with my opinion about Cait.
    That is healthy. Let’s not all be lemmings. Lets all agree to respect each other’s opinions, though we may not agree in principle. I speak about my transition, and what living transgender means to me, to all interested enough to ask. All I ask in return is a respect and acceptance that it is my life, and I am not posturing nor trying to convert. This is me living a positive path, my truth.

    TransWeek is a time to reflect on how far we have come. To educate. To support each other. A little over 20 years ago, I didn’t even know what Transgender was. When I heard the term, I was trans-fixed. That moment changed my life, and I knew how I was going to live my life, or die trying. So, if the opportunity presents itself, teach; or offer a kind word of support; chat over a coffee –or a drink if that is your
    ilk. Basically, show respect, for LGBT individuals are also members –in proud standing- of the race we call Human.

    Mir, Irini, Peace, Amn…
    -jahn westbrook

  • Thank you for an excellent article. I was sceptical about Caitlyn from the beginning and even convinced myself to dislike her. Then as time went on and I heard many transgender people bash her I began to feel sympathy. I can remember some of the strange ideas I had when I started transition but I wasn’t doing it on stage in front of millions of people. I also took note that the attention she drew to us was generally positive. I changed sides. Now I find myself defending her.