The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

Dear Transwomen, Transmen, and all our Allies:

Now more than ever, we need to not be afraid.

It’s true there are threats. People, acting in fear, are saying things that decent humans would not normally say. And I choose to believe most people are still decent humans.

It’s true that people don’t understand us. Can we blame them? Think about how long it took us to understand ourselves!

It’s true that these people have privilege and power that we do not – yet. The same can be said for any marginalized group. They have all faced a time of threat: people of color, the LG & B of LGBT, cis-women. Many of them are still operating under duress, but we take courage from their history. We can see the possibility of change when we look for it.

There is a lot to fear. But as Churchill FDR (I have always made that mistake in remembering which one quoted the other) famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” When we allow fear to dictate our lives we allow the power of the privileged to control us. When we give in to threats of violence or allow news reports of attacks on our brothers and sisters to dominate our thoughts, we become needlessly submissive to a system that should by all intents and purposes hold no power over us.

We need to be seen. We need to be real. We need to be known as the intelligent loving, kind, passionate, responsible people that we are.

13077134_1729112140642660_1083432703_nI am a transwoman.

I had to stop for lunch early to use the internet for an emergency work project. I’m sitting writing this at a Chik-fil-A. Partially because I like waffle fries, partially because I won’t let the opinions of another dictate my next steps. There are mothers here who don’t fear me. Fathers here who have not felt the need to protect their children from me. A staff that offers me refills and condiments like they do every other customer, with a gracious smile.

I need to shop for groceries and craft supplies. I will do that without worry. I’ll be alert. I’ll pay attention to my surroundings. But I will keep living as I intend to live.

To our Allies: if you see fear in our eyes, walk beside us. Go to the store with us. Go have lunch with us. So other people that we need not be feared or isolated. And for heavens sake, go to the bathroom with us.

To those who don’t understand us: Ask. Ask me. Ask an ally. Send an email, respond to this post. But don’t let fear – masked as a lack understanding and rearing it’s head in a needless defense when there is not true offense – drive you
who believe us to be without the effort to get to know us. It’s inhuman.

I’m concerned. I’m alarmed. I’m annoyed. But I’m determined to keep on keeping on – to get on with a life filled with greater peace than I have ever known even with the threats that would try to haunt us.

For the love of life, please join me in the journey.

-Laura Beth




3 thoughts on “The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

  1. Oh Laura Beth, this is so well said, so beautiful that it just makes me want to read it over and over again…. You are truly an intelligent, insightful, incredible woman and I marvel at your wisdom. Thank you for being….YOU!!!

  2. Thank you.

    I am also a transwoman. I have found a place where I am comfortable. A church where I can be myself and do not need to hide what I am. This is a first in more than 20 years, that I am comfortable coming out to the people around me.

    You are right, fear will only destroy your life.

    BTW, I am the first openly transgender woman to receive a degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. I actually got two—a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Sacred Theology.

    I to stay aware of my surroundings but most of the places I go I have friends.

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