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As we move into a time of receiving up to date information at the tips of fingers, it should be celebrated that we as a society are continually moving in a direction of ongoing knowledge and information. Particularly thanks to social media, for many minority communities knowledge is spreading about the day to day struggles of POC, queer people, women, lifestyles, religious groups and more. If you ask anyone from any minority group you will likely hear it isn't easy navigating the world based on their particular discerning feature or characteristic. For many trans and non-binary people I see in my office taking their first transitional steps, it can be challenging stepping away from a White cis-het normative world into the shoes of a minority person. So how do you handle discrimination and what does it mean to be apart of a minority group?
First off, welcome to one of the greatest global families-everyone who has ever been apart of a minority category is in some form or fashion your global family! Like family you may disagree on certain topics such as which minority group is discriminated more than others, and whose rights should be discussed first politically or socially. Also like family, you are united under the common theme of understanding, empathy, and compassion, as we all have experienced discrimination in one form or fashion.
With that being said for the majority of trans and non-binary individuals, taking steps in your life to change your gender identity can have rippling effects on those around you. Coming out can sometimes brings out dislike or hatred that family members have harbored against queer people, or employment opportunities may dwindle. You may lose supporters you once had and experience discrimination from strangers. Changing up your wardrobe and pursuing medical transitional goals can also become costly, thus adding to your emotional and financial exhaustion! If any of these things sound familiar to you, trust that you are not alone in what you're experiencing.
For every one person that tries to knock you down, two more stand up in support of you. Although stepping away from the shield of the White cis-het world might be one of the most terrifying things you've done, you have a tremendous opportunity to learn more about yourself, grow as a person and develop a greater sense of resilience in your identity. So as a new member of our minority community, let's take that plunge together and discover what positive potentials lie on the other side.
Devin Pinkston is a local mental health counselor and Gender Therapist in Grand Junction Colorado. Call to schedule a consultation today at 970-644-2392.