I guess that this title is an eye-catcher, but there is some sober reality to the beginning of that provocative statement. I know that we all have our share of burdens and disappointments and I don’t mean in any way to slight anyone else’s struggles. I guess that there are several aspects of own personal circumstances that are particularly daunting.
It’s probably been said that if you want to buffalo your audience, just throw some statistics at them. Well, some statistics are just too stark and dramatic to be ignored. Stats like: 41% of transgender folks attempt suicide during their lifetimes (compared to 4% of the general population) and half of that group of 40% succeeds, 29% of transgender people live in poverty, 46% of trans individuals were verbally harassed in the past year and 9% were physically attacked, 15% of my community is unemployed. (This is all according to some recent surveys done by the National Center for Transgender Equality).
In some ways, I count my blessings, but I still live under this general, menacing, storm cloud. And, I haven’t escaped victimization and discrimination, either. I have attempted to channel some of my pain and frustration into trying to educate and make a difference on behalf of my community. But in my own personal world things are not all that rosy, either. My health has deteriorated in recent years to the point that, even if I found a good job, I probably couldn’t live up to the physical and mental rigors of ongoing work. I have several chronic, medical conditions that just don’t have good medical treatments. As a result, my finances are very strained. And I am suffering terribly emotionally, as well. I have my general doubts about having many opportunities or much of a future.
My faith, my church, my cats and my support groups are my saving graces. I try to make the best of where I am at, but I feel that most of the healing in my life will happen beyond this earthly realm.
So, so far I have been able to resist some suicidal thinking, but it is a part of the landscape for many folks in my trans community. I wish that I could say that I look to the possibility of finding someone special in my life, but I have some major doubts there, too.
Well, it is the Christmas season, now, so I wish you all the peace, love and joy that are a part of this season. I still believe that God loves me. I am praying for some miracles.
Merry Christmas, Rhiannon Tibbetts