One of the tired cliched traditions that carries on in our culture no matter how silly it is, logically, is the “New Year’s Resolution” – based, I assume, on the reasoning that things are somehow different, or could be, based on the turning of a page on the calendar. Still, it must be programed into us somehow because we all do it in one for or another, even if it’s not tied specifically to the new year. We tend to start diets on the first day of a month or week, we count the anniversary of this thing or that as worth remembering. Somehow those passages of time are integral to our view of life.
So forgive me the cliche when I note the approaching new year and wonder if we don’t have a particularly fertile collection of things from which to choose our “resolutions.” Sure, any woman (or, indeed, man) can resolve to lose weight in the coming year, exercise more, , or grow/cut/dye their hair or get a tan. But we have all those plus more from which to choose. “This is the year I come out to…” or “this is the year I start HRT”or “this is the year I go out in public dressed” or whatever it might be.
I guess most of the time resolutions represent hope. “This is the year I will make this thing better” – whatever “this thing” is for us at any given point in our lives. I cop to the “lose weight” resolution (has there ver been one remotely as common?!) and I’ll also reveal that it’s my firm intention to start HRT within the next few weeks which is something that, for me, is long overdue. My income is better than it has been in several years and that increases my options, but ultimately the best resolutions are the personal ones, the ones that have emotional significance for us. Not just things we think we ought to do.
Perhaps we should consider this, though -that in the coming year we will be, whenever possible, people with a voice. That we will not be victims or allow others to be in our presence. Not just as it relates to trans issues, but in general. The mentality that causes the victimization of others,by bullying or worse, is not limited to our own traits and I think perhaps the reason it’s so hard to defeat is that too many are willing to indulge the targeting of others so long as it’s not our own ox being gored.
2012 was a astonishing year for progress in trans legal rights, and I feel like the culture itself has moved a lot in our direction. But just because civil rights for blacks are a given, legally, doesn’t mean there are not still racists about. Hearts can only change when we speak up as individuals. I hope 2013 is a banner year for that.
Photo by: Ed Yourdon