Dismantling oppression requires acknowledgment of privilege, which is a difficult thing to do. We’re trained to evade it and to feel emotions such as anger and defensiveness when presented with it, because to acknowledge our privileges as individuals acknowledges the system from which that privilege arises. Still, if we are truly invested in change and seeking progressive alternatives to the way things are, we must be willing to engage that discomfort.
Acknowledge your privilege this holiday season. Not “in the spirit of the season” – that phrase is couched in the hypocrisy of the public moralizing of an oppressor culture – but against the notion of a culture that abandons those who most need love and acceptance while promoting empty images of family and community. Acknowledge that, as you sit down to dinner with your family or loved ones, there are those who are not welcome to do the same with their families, and that a disproportionate number of those people are transgender or transsexual.
Despite any kvetching on my part about mi familia, at least I am lucky enough to have a family that loves and accepts me as well as my cis gay sister, uncles and cousins. Not everyone is so lucky.
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Humanity. No exceptions. No qualifications.