Seed of Inspiration
Each Wednesday, we will bring you a writing from a seedy woman. This Wednesday, I bring you a reflection from my own family: my cousin Melody. I am blessed to call two beautiful transgender women as as cousins, one on each side of my family tree. When I first began this project, Melody immediately offered her enthusiastic support, and I was delighted when she wrote the following reflection for us. It has been incredible to watch her blossom from a withdrawn young man into the authentic, happy young woman that she is. Now as her true self, she has finally been able to find her soul mate, and she and her wonderful fiance Drew plan to wed next month. Drew, welcome to the family, and I wish you and Melody all happiness in your life together!
To begin, I am a transgender (trans) woman, more importantly I am simply a woman. And that is the point of this story. You see, regardless of the circumstances of birth, a transgender woman is just a woman, just as a blue car is still just a car. One who has spent a long time, years and even decades, denying who they are for who they thought everyone else wanted them to be. But this isn't a story of lamentation, but one of empowerment, but you need some of the background to understand the uplifting part of this story.
When I first began transitioning, I was, as can be imagined, extremely unsure of myself. "Transgender" and "body issues" are pretty much synonymous, and I was, and sometimes am, still victim of this. I didn't "pass" and was very obviously transgender. Everywhere I would go, I was a ball of nerves, afraid someone would call me out as something wrong. To go shopping was even more nerve wracking. A "man" in the women's section, the underwear section, the dressing rooms. I always waited for the inevitable (and never uttered) scream of horror that I was there. I have actually been quite lucky to never have this happen to me.
My first shopping trip out with a friend for makeup was one of the best days of my life. We went to a stand alone Sephora, mainly so I could see (and be overwhelmed by) the number and types of makeup (Sephora is by far my favorite store). I had only just gone "full time" (no more pretending to be a man) and was far from passing, but fairly obviously attempting to present as female. I was terrified to step foot in the store, but the first thing I heard was not ridicule, but rather a greeting, "Can I help you ladies with anything?" A simple phrase that meant the world to me and lead to so much more, as a negative greeting could have easily crushed me. The same sales girl offered to help me with finding a properly shaded foundation, some lovely eye shadow, and just treated me as "one of the girls."
And that is the story. A lot of trans women like myself spend a long time cutting ourselves down, then put a lot of effort into building ourselves up, only to struggle to maintain ourselves emotionally. But it means the world to us when, no matter how badly we may present, we get the simple confirmation of who we are.
Seed of Action
Today is our second "Wallet Wednesday," wherein we encourage you to make a small donation to an organization that works empowers women. We promise, therefore, to refrain from asking donations from you as Action Seeds for the rest of the week. Even if you can only give $5 or $10 each Wednesday, with $1,030 marchers signed up, that could mean over $5,000 for women's empowerment! So grab your wallet friends, and give as you are able on this Wallet Wednesday.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. NCTE was founded in 2003 by transgender activists who recognized the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality. With a committed board of directors, a volunteer staff of one, and donated office space, we set out to accomplish what no one had yet done: provide a powerful transgender advocacy presence in Washington, D.C. Today, NCTE has grown to a staff of 14 and works at the local, state, and federal level to change laws, policies and society.
This Wallet Wednesday, we are urging each marcher as their action seed to make a $5-$10 donation to NCTE today by following this link. For only about the cost of a latte, together we could make a HUGE difference to this organization! This will be your only monetary seed of the week, and we only have 2 more Wallet Wednesday after this, so make it count!
If you are not making this donation in honor of a particular person, I kindly request you consider marking it in honor of "Seeds to Scatter" so that I might get a better idea of the scope of our seeds.
And if you're feeling extra seedy today, take a moment to explore their website with its action page and information about transgender people, and/or watch the wonderful video below.
Thank you to everyone who has already submitted their favorite songs for our Brave Feminist Playlist! You can still submit songs all this week by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org, adding them to our youtube playlist by following this link and clicking the button at the top right that says "Add Videos," or commenting on our Facebook post. We'll post the final playlist in next week's seeds, so stay tuned! I've embedded the Brave Feminist Playlist one more time below for those who missed it Monday!
I love to hear from you! Keep us posted on your seed-scattering adventures by email, posting on our Facebook page, or sending us a tweet @seedstoscatter!
And above all, scatter with love.