Monday, February 4, 2008

Opportunity or Tokenism?

The Other Side of Inclusiveness

This is one of those essays where I need to "think" out loud. But this has been bugging me for the past month or so, spawned by three invitations to participate with LGB and T efforts. There was a commonality to those invitations. They wanted "a" transgender involved. "A"? As in One? And Only?

Now, I'll be honest in acknowledging that I am truly honored to be someone who has been sought out to join these efforts - all three are most noble and needed. I did join two of the efforts - one an advisory council, the other a temporary situation on updating a inclusiveness statement. And I really would have like to have been involved in the third one, I think the effort is one where much good can be done for the LGB and T community, but I needed to put a limit somewhere to what I can take on.

And I'll acknowledge that Transgenders are clearly the minority within the minority. There just isn't that many of us, and thus those of us who can or do serve community needs are in high demand. Organizations that say they are "LGBT" are realizing that they need to have a T component to their boards, councils and staff. I also understand that many transgenders wish nothing more than to disappear into their new life, but it further reduces the number of those who are getting involved. Yet more need to come forward.

I have long admired those who perservered in the pursuit of justice and equality. The thought that I could do such work never really presented itself until after I transitioned. But I'm getting tired, I'm getting burned out, I simply can't be a "professional tranny"....I, too, wish to sometimes simply disappear into my life.

No comments: