Gender Talk (Extra Credit)

I wish I knew more about what it’s like to have a non cis gender. After listening to my fellow students: laughing, crying, and trying to understand their plight, I feel completely powerless. One person talked about having a series of panic attacks while trying to go to the doctor for a simple Xray. Another struggled with explaining his sexual orientation to his parents. In general, the common themes among almost all the performers was a struggle with society to identify themselves and an internal struggle to find who they are and stay true to that. This is a daunting task, especially considering these are challenges they have to face every day, along with everything else that cis gender people struggle with daily.

My question to the world is what can I do? How can I help someone for even an instant when society as a whole has rejected them. How does one show compassion without pity? How can I show someone who feels so alone that I want to help? I don’t think I can really be what is necessary.

One point a performer made was that usually, they don’t take the time to educate the public on their gender identity. Immediately I thought, why should they need to? I’ve never encountered a cis gender man or woman who felt the need to explain to me why they identified with their gender. In my opinion, this shouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, because of the dichotomy we live in, it is.

I don’t know how to change society, but I wish I could. After listening to students struggle with the simplest tasks like going to the doctor or even going to the bathroom without being judged. After seeing the pain in their eyes, and watching them plead to simply fit in, I felt hopeless and helpless. Where is the light at the end of this tunnel? And if this is how I felt after an hour, I can only imagine the daily pain transgender people endure everyday for an eternity. How is this fair? Why do I get to be graced with the honor of fitting into society’s mold and they don’t? What about my birth into this world was so drastically different? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This is why I am asking: what can I possibly do to help right this wrong?

About nbsc128

I am a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.
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