Dear Transgender Friend, You Are Loved

A while ago, USGA met to write letters for the P.S. You Are Loved project, a repository of supportive letters to transgender individuals. We wanted to share them again here and invite others to add their own expressions of understanding and support in the comments section.

Dear Transgender/Non-Binary Friend or Future Friend,
I love you. I support you. I admire your bravery, whether in the closet or out. I will walk with you. I will talk with you. I will listen to you. I will try to put myself in your shoes, though I won’t pretend I’ll be able to truly understand your intersecting experiences with gender, race, religion, romance, and other aspects of your experience. I will seek to understand your experiences, your joys, your hurt, your gender dysphoria, your feelings of never fitting neatly into a box. I may not know what to say or understand you completely, but I will try. Please be patient with me, especially when I ask dumb questions. I will use the pronouns you want me to use, though I may make mistakes. I will treat you how you wish to be treated. I will recognize the blessing that you are in my life and how you help me be a better human. I will value your insights and be honored by your friendship. I will leave space for the many things I don’t know about God, the beautiful messiness and diversity of life, and your individual divine plan. I will not patronize you, tokenize you, or downplay your struggles of being in a body and assigned a gender role that has somehow always felt deeply wrong. I will not pretend to know what is best for you. I will defend you when others misunderstand, mischaracterize, and cast verbal stones at you. I will stand up for you when some reduce gender to genitals and discount your experiences, or if you are branded a ‘freak’, ‘f*g’, ‘confused’, or ‘tranny’ by ignorant people. I will never be ashamed of you or your appearance. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are worthy of love. I will gently remind others that trans people are far more likely to be murdered, assaulted, abused, insulted, experience hate crimes, and to experience suicidal ideation than those of us who are lucky enough to feel at home in our assigned gender at birth. I will help you find support if you’d like more. I will recognize the uniqueness of your individual story, the complexity of trans and non-binary gender identity, and will not compare you to others. You have a bright future ahead of you, and you are not alone. I will do the only thing I know I can do –I will love you and respect you. And I know there are many others who will love you for who you are.
Your friend,
Dillon
P.S. You are loved.

Dear Friend,
You experience something that I can’t completely understand. But I have heard so many stories; I promise that to the extent that I am capable, I understand how difficult it must be for you. I love you and you are important. Your feelings are important and you can do whatever you want with your life. Transition to whatever degree you need and I will defend you. I will defend the validity of your feelings and the importance of empathy wherever there is ignorance and meanness. You don’t have to prove anything. You are a whole person, a complete person.
Sincerely,
A. M.
P.S. You are loved.

Hi Friend!
Can I just start by saying I believe you? I believe you when you say that you feel like a man or a woman or somewhere in between. Seriously, why is that so hard for people to understand? When I was younger, I thought the world was black and white. This was always right, that was always wrong. But as I started meeting people and listening to their stories, I realized that life isn’t as simple as I thought it was. Life is complex, and each person’s life is unique. So when a friend came out to me as trans, I could accept her as she was. I’m not saying this to brag about myself, but to say that people do change. I changed to be far more accepting than I was before. And little by little, the world is changing too. You have a place here with everyone else. And if it seems like everyone in the world is eschewing you, know that you do have friends out there too. If we ever meet in real life, I’ll be friends with you, hang out with you, support and defend you. And I accept you as you are, all of you. We need you here with us. We want you here with us.

Sincerely,
D.D.
P.S. You are loved.

Dear Friend or Future Friend,
I don’t know a whole lot about trans issues, but I’m really glad that over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to have gained a few trans friends. I honestly don’t understand why trans issues are so hard for so many people – it seems pretty straightforward to me, so I’m sorry you have to deal with all of the haters. I hope that someday soon trans people won’t have to worry about coming out and all of the opposition and ignorance y’all can often face. I hope you know that I believe that God, or whatever you do or don’t believe in, loves you just the way you are. And that even though this life is messy and complicated and can often be sad and filled with heartache, that there is beauty in the struggles and mundane details of everyday life – and that God is there in that beauty and struggle. I hope that you have supportive and loving friends and family to lean on in times of hardship and need, but more importantly so they can learn from you. You are beautiful and interesting and full of good things to teach people around you. I believe you have a happy and fulfilling life ahead of you, so go out and seize it!
Love,
A.J.
P.S. You are loved.

Dear Friend or Future Friend,
I just want you to know that I’m there for you. I’m here to listen to you. I’ll listen to your struggles, your frustrations, your triumphs, and your happy moments. I want you to know that you inspire me and give me strength. I don’t personally know the struggles of being trans, but my ears are open and I want to be there for you. I don’t know if you believe in a God, but I do, and I know that he also listens to me when I need to talk. Thank you for being you and I will be there for you if you need to talk.

Sincerely,
A.D.
P.S. You are loved.

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