Ilove the holiday season. I love hearing my favorite Christmas songs on the radio. I have a Spotify channel specifically to house my Christmas tunes with soul. I love rolling through different parts of Houston to see neighborhoods lit up with holiday lights. And I love ice-skating at Discovery Green and the Galleria.
While I won’t be getting up at 4 a.m. on Christmas to open presents, I do enjoy spending quality time with both my blood and chosen families, especially my nieces.
I also love scarfing up my mom’s German chocolate pound cake.
As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive. But one of the things I hope I receive (hint, hint) is a new computer. (My Dell desktop is running Windows XP, just to give you an idea how old it is.)
One of my other Christmas wishes came early when Democrats swept Harris County in the November elections.
But If I were the black Santa that Megyn Kelly says doesn’t exist, what would I give to the Texas trans community as I’m cruising at reindeer-powered high altitude?
For starters, every trans-led organization based in the Lone Star State—including the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC), the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Gender Infinity, and the Organización Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT)—would receive the funding they need to hire staff, procure office space, bring on Austin-based lobbyists (if needed), build cash reserves, and do their much-needed work at the socio-economic and political levels.
I would also place under the Texas trans Christmas tree a statewide nondiscrimination law that includes gender identity and expression. Every Texas school district, college, and university would have nondiscrimination and anti-bullying policies that cover trans people so we can focus on our educations, not fighting administrators for basic human decency.
I want to see an end to trans kids being tossed out of their homes for being trans. I want homeless shelters in the Lone Star State to house trans people based on their presentation and not their genitalia, and for other residents and staff to treat them with dignity and respect.
I want an end to trans kids (and trans adults) attempting to commit suicide because of the bullying from their families, their peers, evil-gelical pastors, and right-wing politicians.
This Christmas, I would give Texas trans people the ability to change their names and gender markers without drama, disrespect from judges, or having to travel to Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio.
I would have another law passed that makes so-called reparative therapy illegal in the Lone Star State. If reparative therapy didn’t work on the gay and lesbian community, it damn sure isn’t going to work on born-this-way trans people.
If I were zipping around our ginormous state bearing gifts, I would also like to see the concrete electoral ceiling come crashing down for trans Texans who wish to run for public office. I want to see trans Texans not only join the rest of the nation in making electoral history, but also win so much that it’s not news anymore. I want to see trans Texans elected to serve in every office, from dog catcher to the State Legislature.
Speaking of news, I want to see a trans person reporting the news on one of our local TV stations in Houston. I want to see more trans media pundits, especially when the topics turn to issues affecting our community. I want more positive stories about trans people featured in our Texas media outlets, both mainstream and LGBTQ. I want to see trans people working behind the TV cameras and in newsrooms as well.
I would also bring an end to anti-trans attitudes within our TBLGQ community and the organizations that represent it. It is past time for those attitudes to go away so we can become a shining example of the type of “beloved community” that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned for this nation.
I want trans Houstonian Jessica Zyrie’s modeling dream of ripping a Victoria’s Secret fashion-show runway to come true. I would also like to see a trans Texan win Miss Texas-Universe.
My final gift delivery (before I headed back to the North Pole on Christmas Day) would be for our trans kids. I not only want their parents to believe them when they announce that they are trans, I also want that revelation to result in the kids living childhoods that are as normal as their cisgender friends.
If the detractors out there think this will never happen, think again. I wouldn’t bet against people who have to fight every day to be their authentic selves in a world that is so viciously hostile to them.
Merry Christmas, OutSmart readers, and have a happy and prosperous New Year!
This article appears in the December 2018 edition of Outsmart magazine.