The Importance Of Your Voice

Photo by Rayne's Avante-Garde
Article By E.S. Wynn

I see it all the time in my travels online. A minority or marginalized individual will stand up and use their voice for political activism, drawing from their personal experiences (much as I do) only to have a person speak up afterwards with a line akin to “Your work is really great, but I wish someone would stand up for my oppressed minority!”

I am of two minds in regards to this. While I do believe we should help each other as much as we can and provide platforms where we can that people can use to talk about their pain and struggles (especially if society is turning a blind eye to that pain and those struggles) I also believe that no one is more qualified to talk about your experiences than you are. We all have our own battles and rights to write about, our own experiences and wars to wage. We can't expect others to do the hard work of expressing ourselves for us.

I give this same feedback to people who tell me they'd like me to make their life story into a book. The stories are always interesting in brief, but I know that I'm not qualified (nor do I necessarily have the time) to turn their experiences into entertainment or direct activism. What I tell them is that they have a good story, and that they should write it out. If they need help with editing, formatting or diving into the corporate meatgrinder of the publishing industry, I can help with that, but I can't tell their story for them. It can be hard to stand up in the face of a hostile society and state your truth, but someone has to be strong enough to do it. Might as well be someone who has direct experience with it. It might as well be you.

Another reason why your voice is important to the fight against the struggle you’re facing and living through is representation. If only one person stands up and says “I am part of this minority and I am oppressed!” then that person becomes the face of that movement. It’s happened in the trans community, and I’ve mentioned this in previous articles. I bear no ill will toward Caitlyn Jenner or toward any of my fellow transgender people, but I want more diversity in representation. I don’t want people to think only of her (or her and LaVerne Cox, or god forbid, Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Frank-N-Furter) when they hear the word Transgender. I want them to think of the heroes who have battled with gender dysphoria and who have transitioned openly under the force of tremendous scrutiny and hate. I want them to think of all of the people working in the trenches of art, education, and hell, every field out there who openly identify as transgender. I want to pack the minds of the populace with an entire army of trans voices so that they can see that that we aren’t weird or dangerous or freakish. We’re people, just like they are. We’re people, and our experiences need to be voiced.

So stop reading this article, get out there and make your voice heard, whoever you are. Your perspective matters, and regardless of how or where you choose to express it, express it openly and completely. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself, and fear is a toothless bitch. You’ve got this. You’ve so got this.

If you have a story about your own experiences as a trans individual or would like to be interviewed so that you can share your perspectives as a trans person with the readers of this blog, please feel free to contact me through the contact form here: [link]. Make sure you have javascript enabled or the form will just display a blank page. I’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to share your perspective with our readers. Thank you!

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