She was the one that kept me hanging on. With one little sentence she got me through a night. A day. A weekend. A week. A month. “I’ll always go to bat for you.” delivered right when I felt like nobody cared. And I knew they were real words. When I asked her if she would come out for me to a coworker because I couldn’t stand being deadnamed one more time, and I just didn’t have the energy to come out to yet another person right then.
She didn’t have to. She could’ve said no, you have to do it yourself. Or she could’ve just said sure, and left it at that. But she didn’t. She said, “I’ll always go to bat for you.” We never saw each other outside of work. She was my manager, I was an employee. But she made me feel like I mattered. Like I wasn’t just some inconvenient freak.
And whatever happens, whether we end up friends, or stay manager/employee, or one of us quits and we never talk again, those words will be important. People like her are important to people like me. They make us feel like someone has our back on a world where nobody has our back. A lot of people say they support trans people, but really, they don’t. They want people to think they do. But people like her, they don’t care if people think they do, and they actually do. If there is a God, if there is a heaven, these are the saints.
Be that kind of person. Be the one who will say, “I’ll always go to bat for you.” And be the person who means it. Be an ally. Be the person who listens and doesn’t assume. Who listens and accepts rather than argues and tells us why were overreacting or wrong. The person we feel like we can come to just to talk, and not be judged.
I can count the number of people like this in my life on one hand. But even if I could only count one finger, that’s more than some can say. I’m lucky to know people like that. Be that person. Even more, be the person who sticks up for people you don’t even know, just because it’s the right thing to do. One sentence to make someone feel better might make their whole day. It has for me.
Be like that coworker. And bring people up instead of keeping them down.
The 31st is trans visibility day. So spread some awareness and be an ally. Wear your pink, blue, and white. Break you’re gender roles. Talk about us.
Don’t wait till you’re tagged in to fight like, and for, a grrrl.
Update: new boss at my day job. I feel like I lost an ally, and a really good boss, and maybe even a friend, with the other one leaving. And the new lady is terrible. And someone I knew from before. Among other things besides making everyone else do her work and hovering like she’s trying to catch you doing something wrong all the time, I found out yesterday that she’s been using my new name with everyone (including me), except the other guy I used to work with, which makes it a conscious decision, which makes me super pissed and super not trust her. And I can’t even prove it to call her out on it. This is going to be fun.