Out of everything that creates a stable society, fear is the first ingredient. Coming from a white person, this notion must seem hilariously unbelievable. Coming from a transgender man, I pray this belief seems more reasonable.
I, thankfully, came out of the closet at a liberal, suburban high school where the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) had an openly transgender president. I was hit with a tsunami sized culture shock when I moved to Hicksville, No-Where-Land. Moving from a multicultural area where 40% of the school was white, 30% was black, 20% was Asian, and the last 10% was everything else in between to an area where the KKK sent fliers to the local high school looking for applications was horrifying.
It wasn't until I moved there that I started to fear for my life.
Being a white person, I never expected to feel afraid going to school, to church, to the local Walmart (which is 15 miles away). I always thought that my race gave me a privilege that I would always carry. It wasn't until I moved back into the closet that I was proven dead wrong.
Fear is what keeps me hiding behind push-up bras and eyeliner. Anxiety is what keeps me just behind the closet door, waiting until I can go out in a suit.
This lack of freedom- the lack of individuality- is what suddenly reminds me of the lynching of blacks before the Equal Rights Movement. I'm reminded of the Suicide Forest in Japan where outcasts go to dishonour their families in a proper way. I'm reminded why Arab woman must hide inside and only show their eyes.
We so what we must to survive.
Sui Sin Far, born Edith Maude Eaton, said, "Individuality is more important than nationality." If you are safe enough to be yourself, stick to your guns. Otherwise, make sure that the gun isn't pointed at you.