I knew with Trump potentially winning it would be a good idea to get my changes wrapped up ASAP so in case anything against our community was passed, I’d be protected. Why? The Constitution here and here state that laws (whether at state or federal level) can’t undo previously done actions, in my case meaning Trump’s army can’t force me to detransition, can’t force me to live as a woman again, can’t punish me for having already transitioned. They could prohibit pre-op and future generations of transgender youth from transitioning, but people like me, people who’ve had everything done, we (theoretically—but we know how theory don’t always work in reality!) have little to nothing to worry about. Given their hypocrisy over replacing Ginsberg rather than wait till the next President elect takes office, I wouldn’t doubt they’d come after post-ops like me.
I know I’m saying this from a place of “privilege”—I’m white, male-identifying and male-passing, straight (attracted to women for readers who are confused about sexual orientation regarding the trans community), from a Christian background (albeit now an atheist), from a Republican-voting family in a small-town and conservative area (though I vote Democrat), have a supportive family and workplace, and live in a state that protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, and was lucky to enough to legally change my name and gender identification and have all my legal documents reflect that.
I get it, too—I’ve had otherwise potentially transphobic people befriend me or open up their minds because I’m “binary”, because I had “the surgery”, because I pass, because I took a very old-school, thorough approach to getting everything done, because I don’t ask for ”exemptions like a snowflake”. Because I choose to not let the micro-aggressions of deadnaming, misgendering, questions about “the surgery” get in the way of having open, honest conversations with people; there are times where it’s important to correct others, but in these kinds of conservations, my aim to build alliances, not win a debate, and I (try to) let this stuff slide.
I know with my “privileges”, that if and when I find a girlfriend and we decide to marry, we can easily go anywhere and get married, and because we’d be “straight-acting” and cis-passing, we wouldn’t have to worry about people refusing us service if they’re against queer marriage.
I do not want to regress to a state where my rights are determined on a state-by-state basis, or even at a county-by-county/town-by-town level. I do not want my taxes, Social Security, and other welfare situations, be complicated for my partner and I, where we claim each other on some things, but not others. I do not want my trans siblings to have to constantly worry about where it’s okay to use the loo when out-and-about. I do not want my trans siblings in same-gender-loving relationships (or with SGL leanings in general) to have to choose between marrying first before transitioning, or transitioning but then allow for misgendering while going through getting legally married. (The wedding can always be put off and everyone can be themselves at that point.) I don’t want anyone to feel like if they had to go to hospital for an emergency that they’d be turned away because a doctor thinks his religious convictions are more important than our right to healthcare. I do not want my queer siblings to feel like they have to choose between constantly fighting for their rights where they live, or choosing to pack up an leave for a queer-friendly state where their rights are at least guaranteed at the state level.
My irony—I survived during the Bush years, but suffered when Obama initially ran, although during his second term I recovered and was able to begin my transition. Under Trump, I will be able to survive again. This counters my community who suffered under Bush, thrived under Obama, and yet suffers again under Trump. And as we look onto the oncoming storm, while I can take refuge here in these mountains, there will be many who can’t, especially if Trump’s re-elected.
There will be days you’ll want to give up. Days you want to retreat. Days that you’d want it to all be over. Take time off from everything from time to time if the stress burns you out. If fighting becomes too much, really it might just be better to pack up and move to an area where your rights will still be protected at the state level.