Jennifer Burke, at the always insightful Transcending Gender blog, quotes Jami Ward from not THAT different in response to the question, What do transgendered folks owe the rest of the world? The answer resonates beyond the trans community.
We owe the world education. We are the only ones who know what it is like to be transgendered. We are the only ones who can try to tell people who have no gender dichotomy what it’s like to be different the way we are. If we are not willing to spend time with others, to answer questions and to show the world that we are not represented by Jerry Springer’s “guests”, then we cannot complain that people won’t accept us as just plain folks. We haven’t been willing to show them that we are just that.
What, then, don’t we owe the world? We don’t owe the world submission. We have every right to be who we are, and we should be willing to stand up and say so. We don’t owe the world comfort. We cannot be concerned if our existence makes others uncomfortable.