I wonder, how many people look at themselves in the mirror? I mean really look, deep down below the superficial blotches and imperfections, look into the eyes reflected and try to see what is hidden beneath.
Somehow I doubt there are very many. For most people what they see in reflection is what they expect to see, what they have seen for as long as they can remember and though there may be things they do not like or would change given the chance, still they are not surprised or overly upset by what they find there waiting for them.
The same cannot be said for everyone, not for those like myself who find in the mirror a lie. A mockery.
I know there are people who cannot imagine being anything other than they are. For whom all the pieces, while not perfect, are relatively in line. In other words, they know themselves to be either male or female, their bodies are clearly one or the other and they have all the expected bits and pieces where they are expected to be.
This is separate from who a person may find themselves sexually attracted to, being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or even asexual. No, this is about ones sense of self and what they know about who and what they are.
Our culture has long had a habit of taking the complicated and trying to make it simple or making the simple complicated. In this case, in an effort to explain what so many take for granted, several different concepts and realities have been mixed together into one confusing concept of Gender, Sex, and biology and lumped them together into two categories; male and female.
For the majority of the population this seems obvious. For them there is no confusion as to what they are or where they fit into society. They are male, they see themselves as male, they exhibit atypical male physical and mental traits, and they possess a male reproductive system. They are female. They see themselves as female, exhibit atypical female physical and mental traits, and they possess a female reproductive system.
Seeing themselves in the mirror or in the shower presents no issues for them because what the see is what having all these things in alignment allows them to see.
Again, the same cannot be said of everyone.
There those who live in the shadow of a gender normative world, for whom such basic assumptions cannot be made. They have been a part of humanity since before recorded history and they are still here today. Unfortunately, societies, especially Western/European societies have long since turned their backs on such realities.
We have been known by many names, been seen as a blessing and a curse. Raised to the pinnacle of public acclaim and been discarded, dismissed, and forgotten.
We are of the Two-Spirits, kathoey, hijra, and many more. Scattered across the globe, crossing nationalities, ethnicities, and religions.
We are your neighbors and coworkers.
We are your brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers.
But more than any of these things…
We Are Human.
We shed the same tears. Our blood spills as easily as yours. We laugh and cry. We love and hate. He share all the same passions and desires as any other human being.
We Are Not Animals.
We are not freaks.
We are not an amusement.
We not objects to be ridiculed or despised.
We Are Human,
And we deserve to be treated as such.