Activist for Crossdressers - We need each other to be activists.

In a recent email I said that I don't call myself an activist. In my haste to answer, I made the same mistake too many of us make: being an "activist" is not the same as being a "militant."

According to the dictionary, activism means "a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue."

I don't know if one would consider me to be "vigorous," but I have been known to "preach" about intolerance to us. So I guess I am an activist. I am not, however, a militant - a term which has a bit of a derogatory implication.

The only way we can achieve acceptance is through 1) numbers (and being open), 2) teaching others that we are not monsters out to enlist others or corrupt young children.

When I say "being open," I don't necessarily mean that any individual has to come out of the closet. Joining support groups, such as Tri-Ess, allows those groups to operate as a voice on our behalf, assuming you make your views known within the group.

This is the "numbers" part: the group can then say, "We represent 100 people" when dealing with lawmakers or media. When we do that, we are much more likely to be able to go to our lawmakers and get somewhere with protection from those who thrive on bigotry.

I would never encourage anyone to do what I'm doing. I will help others who I believe need that assistance, but I will not ever try to "turn" someone. Frankly, the effort is so great that most people would never complete the process unless they were really confident it was right for them.

The only convincing I want to do is to help the uneducated understand that we transgendered are not the "spawn of the devil" nor horrible monsters out to change everyone. We really are pretty much just like everyone else.

So what can even the closeted TG do? We all occasionally run into something that others don't understand. For example, jokes about TGs - let others know that you don't find those jokes amusing. You might even give a bit of information to help them understand us better. Posting on chat boards not only gives you the opportunity to share with others, but helps to refine your own thoughts about yourself.

Another thing to do is to accept each of us. If one enjoys cross-dressing, then he/she is a member of our TG community. To divide ourselves into subcultures can only weaken our community. We need each other.

And we need each other to be activists.