Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing arguments about whether or not I have the right to marry a person of my choosing irrespective of whether or not they are “male” or “female”. The use of quotation marks is necessitated because maleness and femaleness is a quite subjective determination. As a transgender woman, and as it is considered in this SCOTUS case, my own knowledge of my femaleness is not generally taken into consideration.
The world is experiencing itself in many different ways, right now. Baltimore is screaming to the un-listening ears of America; screaming that racism is both alive and intolerable. Nepal is bleeding for thousands of lives lost and countless examples of hopelessness and fear.
There are stark realities in our world to which we have become indifferent. Not the least of these realities is that if you could become rich feeding the poor, no one would be hungry.
Oppression of endless versions wraps its arms around the daily lives of far more people than not, and we end up providing insidious entertainment for the oppressors as we continue fail to join hands across our differences and stand up in unison. We are far more in number and power than our common oppressors. Our differences only serve to reduce our united power. The day we come to understand this will be the day our oppression ends.
Today is a great, fine day for me to consider my place in the world. Amidst the declarations that Bruce Jenner’s coming out on national television was the greatest act of courage ever seen in the history of all humankind, are other stark realities. There are people in Nepal who are displaying courage a thousand times greater. There are people in Baltimore – protestors and police – who are putting everything on the line to stand up for what they think is right.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing arguments about who should be allowed to marry. I know that a few of my words were quoted in at least one of the amicus briefs that were filed. It is absurd that this is even an issue. It is absurd that our efforts and energy, our resources of time and money, our hearts and souls are needed here, and not being directed to help bring an end to other human suffering in this world.
So what about SCOTUS? Any act of oppression creates human suffering. The time has long since passed to stop oppressing same-sex couples and their families. The character of America will be on display when the Supreme Court announces its decision. The response of our country will speak undeniable truth about what it means in America to stand up for what is right.
I am thinking that my place in the world is to stand up for what I think is right. To me, this means that I must continue to speak out for LGBT equality. I must continue to speak out for an end to racism. I must understand that the only path to true richness includes doing what I can to help feed those people who are hungry.
My place in the world is to reach across differences and see the stark realities. My place in the world is to see all human beings, as human beings; to be more concerned about what I can give, than I am about what I can take. My place in this world is not to tell you what your place in this world should be. My spot on the planet is to do my best to shine the light of love.
Stephanie Mott is a transsexual woman from Topeka, Kansas and a nationally known speaker on transgender issues. In addition, Stephanie is the executive director of Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project and a commissioner on the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org