I am not immoral
Morality refers to people’s principles concerning right or wrong behavior. Morality is highly subjective. Diverse cultures, nations, religions, and so forth embody their own codes for morality even though there can be some commonality. Regardless of people’s personal moral codes, no one owns morality. No one person or group gets to dictate morality and then impose that view of morality onto others. When it comes to creating laws that impede the inclusion of all people, those lawmakers and supporters are imposing. So, what happens when people label the transgender community as immoral? Well, frankly, I call bullshit.
The recent political events occurring in Florida upset me. Referring to teachings or discussions about the diversity in human sexuality and gender identity as “grooming” is dangerous. Grooming has been a term used to refer to pedophiles who groom their victims into submission. I am a college instructor who teaches about sexual/gender diversity in my psychology and human services classes. I am not a groomer. All I do is teach that heterosexuality and cisgender identities are not the only ones that exist, which is true. In no way do I tell my students that being LGBTQIA is superior or try to convince them to be LGBTQIA. I wouldn’t get accused of grooming people to be Muslim, Jewish, or Catholic just because I talk about diversity in religions. The purpose for sharing these identities is to normalize the existence of the identities, not to convert people. Cisgender and heterosexual identities have long been shared and normalized in schools. I refuse to hide my existence in the face of heterosexism and cisgenderism that poses that only these identities deserve a place.
Furthermore, how do I not reflect positive values? I work as a mental health counselor and a teacher because I have always wanted a career in helping people. Years of work in customer service and in the human services taught me to practice patience and kindness even when people are rude or combative with me. When people reach out to me for help, I am always happy to do so. I love it when my former students still contact me to help them with graduate essays or even ask me to read some of their fictional writing. Last year, I donated a kidney to a stranger who I still have never met. For me, I accepted this risk because even if I had died or faced issues from donation, I would always know that my life meant something to someone in need. That was good enough for me. But I’m immoral, right?
Am I perfect? Absolutely not! No one is. If people want to make the religious argument that I am a sin merely because I exist, then what about all the other sins that inundate our society? Where is the moral outcry against greed, for example?
My only desire is to be able to live. Just because people do not understand other people’s identities does not make those identities illegitimate. Ignorance does not excuse prejudice. I refuse to let people who don’t even know me define my morality. I also will not be silenced. I am proud of who I am. For me, being transgender is not a tragedy; it is a gift. It has its hardships, but those are mostly due to society’s rejection of queer people. I will not wear a costume anymore. I will not try to follow socially constructed gender roles that are alien to me. Like all living beings, I have the right to be me. For morality, people should judge me based on my deeds and not my identity. To those who are spreading prejudices, I question their morality because what good are they bringing into the world if they are only perpetuating messages of hate and exclusion? I call bullshit.
Note: This article only reflects my personal views. I do not speak for the LGBTQIA community. Also, I am not anti-religion. I am against certain groups imposing laws that spread prejudice and oppress groups of people. I believe in the freedom to live.