By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist—
I constantly see hate spewing from many members of the trans community on social media and it saddens me to see this hatred. I fully realize that it is not easy being trans and that the deck is stacked against us in so many ways, but I wish that folks wouldn’t post and comment with hate. Hate just escalates negative emotions and drives people further apart.
The most hatred I see these days from the trans community seems to be directed at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Caitlyn Jenner, as well as Christians, the police, and rich people. If you don’t like or agree with these folks that’s fine but is it really necessary to express hate towards them? It would suffice to just strongly disagree and be ready to discuss the matter without expressing hate. Life is too short to hate and hating someone or something can make you feel emotionally and physically ill.
I see a huge amount of hate from the trans community directed at Caitlyn Jenner. Someone posts an article about Caitlyn and the hateful comments immediately start. The comments get darker and darker and filled with hate and I have a hard time reading them after a while. I don’t see any thought put into those comments, I just see hate with a lot of meanness. We all know that Caitlyn is a newbie and she sometimes says things that lead to disagreements within the trans community.
Yes, she may need to be challenged at times but she does not need to be hated. Although she has never, to my knowledge, claimed to be a spokesperson for the trans community she has unfortunately been put in that position by the media and the media will continue to follow her and report on her like she is a spokesperson. If she makes a mistake then we need to address the issue. We don’t need to spew hate at her.
Many people in the trans community are interested in politics. There are many disagreements in the political world and people do have strong opinions on the issues. Yes, we do need the dialogue on what the points of the issues are, but we don’t need to do it with adding hate to the mix. Not surprisingly, religion is also a hotbed of disagreements in the trans community. Again, we need to rightfully state our positions on the issues but again, it is not necessary to add hate to the mix.
I don’t really know exactly why some folks in the trans community show so much hate. I don’t know their backgrounds and their experiences and why they hate so much. I do know that with being trans we all have had stressful lives filled with shame, guilt, rejection, isolation, and ridicule but we need to rise above those awful things and become free to be who we are. It’s not easy. It’s a lot of work but as Friedrich Nietzche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” When we reach that point we may be able to respond to disagreements with a more balanced viewpoint and without hate. Then we may be able to respond with facts and reasoning without the ugliness of hate. At the very least we can agree to disagree with other viewpoints and we can do that without hate.
It’s a big world and we all do not think the same and I think that actually is a good thing. It’s good to hear others’ perspectives, especially the ones in disagreement. There you have the beginnings to try to understand people who think differently from you. There lies the beginning to possibly understand each other a little better. Yes, I promote trying to understand each other. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I promote trying to understand others and keeping an open dialogue going without the hate.
This is now a brand new year and I have a suggestion for a possible new year’s resolution. I would like to ask everyone to please state and argue their points from now on without spewing hate. Please.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a trans woman who has 3 grown children and is retired from 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.