Saturday, October 11, 2014

Spread you Wings

I know, I know, the movie Mulan is racist, trans-phobic, fat-phobic, and more, but I couldn't resist. I watched the Disney classic for the first time this morning.  That's right, I've avoided this animated fantasy and many newer Disney films for years.  But this morning, as I was recovering on my couch from a near perfect long run, I gave in.
And despite all that is wrong with this engaging, and at times silly film, the message is clear. Women and girls are smart, passionate, strong, and yes, defiant in the face of history, culture, and society that doesn't value us for what we're capable of.  A recent example of this is Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, who at age 15, was shot in the face for believing girls should be educated. Malala is a fighter and she survived. But she is a benevolent leader, using words, books, and pencils as weapons against oppression, not violence and hate. 

So on this National Coming Out Day, I wonder, as friend questioned earlier today, what's the purpose of such an occassion?  For me, it seems like I've been coming out my whole life, but there were times when I was pushed back in, or chose that closet for safety, for the privilege of gender, for the security of a job, and for the comfort of a relationship. Being a transgender woman, is a unique experience, not only because I've have lived a life in two genders, so to speak,  but because when I leave the protection of my house, I'm outing myself. I know I'm seen as transgender, or something worse, but I'm okay with that.  It's taken a life time to get that point, but I think it gives me special powers, being able to confront people's expectations of gender just by being me, just by buying milk at the grocery store.  But I'm human too, and as I listened to the character Mulan sing about the disconnect between how she feels on the inside versus what she sees in her reflection, I know that there will be many more tears, but hope just as many smiles, as my journey continues.  

What's on next, Lion King?