A friend of mine called me the other day with exciting news. There is a new intern on the show Grey’s Anatomy; an intern who happens to be transgender. This is a pivotal moment in the queer community as it is a major breakthrough in the way that trans people are portrayed on television. Alex Blue Davis, who plays the intern, Casey, is a character who has landed a strong role; a role that doesn’t portray him as a science project. Not a patient undergoing a surgery or undergoing medical research, just a human being living and working in his chosen career and thriving. The role isn’t all about him being trans, and the way that he “comes out” to Bailey (Chandra Wilson) couldn’t be more perfect. The lines that were written for the scene are as follows: “I’m a proud trans man, Dr. Bailey. I like for people to get to know me before they find out my medical history.” This statement sums up exactly what I fight for on the daily. I don’t tell people I am trans until I get to know them or if they by chance ask. Being transgender is just a small part of what makes up the whole of who I am. It is not that I am ashamed or try to hide my identity, I do it to protect myself and to not allow people to pass judgement based on my gender before they even get to know me.
It’s funny, there have always been transgender people around, it just seems like we are suddenly everywhere, on social media, in the news, coming out of the shadows. That is because the world is a very different place than it used to be. We live in a world with no walls, no personal boundaries. A world with an array of information at the palm of your hand. Of course there is going to be more visibility. People are becoming more and more connected. We are all connected through social media and other means of communication. Transgender isn’t a new thing. Transgender people have been a part society for years and years before people had noticed. Finally, television shows are featuring some diversity in roles that branch out from the heteronormative and cisgendered typical roles.
What is odd to me, is that now that people are more aware that transgender people exist, all of a sudden they hate them, want to hurt them, want to get rid of them? They don’t agree with their identity, even though prior to finding out that person’s true identity they were just fine. That doesn’t make any sense. Prior to this new-found information, people have walked through life not knowing their friends, colleagues, co-workers or family members were transgender. Now they have found out their truth and have discovered there are more than just two genders, there is a new-found hate in their heart. I can’t understand that and I never will.
I am thankful that the media is finally portraying transgender individuals as an accepted part of society and in a positive light. We are out here, and we are here to stay. I will continue to fight for our rights to have a place in this world where we are treated as equals, where we aren’t looked down on because we are transgender, where one day we don’t feel like we have to come out, because that is just who we are and that is okay. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what is in your pants, but what is in your heart.