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Check Your Impact

Updated: Apr 4, 2023



This past week, on Transgender Day of Visibility, I was reading a post by Jennifer Brown. In that post she reminded everyone that it was day for all of us to "check our impact."



Those three words made me pause. Then they made me think. And, days later, I am still thinking about them. It is funny how, sometimes, the simplest of words or phrases can do that. What is it resonated so deeply with me?



I realized I had two things going on:


First, the simplicity of the statement was so powerful. I love the idea of our own internal "impact check-ins." It can be so easy to focus externally - on what others are or are not doing. But, what am I doing? It is satisfying to read the books and gain the knowledge. But, have I put that knowledge into action? It is tempt


ing to list all the things I am doing. But, what impact am I having?


Second, it pissed me off. You see, one of my "triggers" (if you will) is performative behavior. It is always going to get a rise out of me. (To be clear, I am not talking about Jennifer. Her post is calling us out of performative behavior.)


Performative behavior, when it come to social issues, looks something like showing up on social media on a day like Transgender Day of Visibility with some nice words and pretty pictures but otherwise pretty much doing nothing that eliminates the harm to the people and groups we are honoring that day.


There is currently an all out assault, figuratively and literally, on transgender people in this country. In 2023, there are 492 anti-trans


bills in 47 US state legislatures. Of these, 422 bills are active, 26 have passed, and 44 have failed (https://translegislation.com/).


Anti-trans. Let's be clear and replace trans with people or human. There are 492 anti-human bills in 47 US state legislatures right now.


Transgender and nonbinary youth are 2 to 2.5 times as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to their cisgender LGBQ peers (Trevor Project). This suicidality is directly correlated to the physical harm, discrimination, housing instability, rejection, lack of social support, and conversion attempts by parents experienced by trans people.


This country is legislating death for trans people. With 492 bills in 47 US state legislatures.



Y'all... our collective impact is a matter of life or death for trans people in our communities, workplaces, and families.


Today, check your impact. Check your internal impact. Check your collective impact. And act as if it is a matter of life or death to protect your trans co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Because it is.


-M











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