IDAHOT: Speaking Out

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is this Saturday. In the next few days, I will be writing posts and sharing links and information about LGBTQ phobia, discrimination, and violence. (I will post trigger warnings for any violent content.) I’ll start off by sharing a personal perspective about why this year’s IDAHOT is particularly meaningful for me.

There are many positive things about living as a trans*/genderfluid, queer individual, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t also faced a lot of ignorance, judgment, and hatred. I’m not really one to dwell on it, but it was becoming increasingly rare that I would say anything about it at all. I had let some pressure me into saying very little about queer/transphobia or my experiences with it, because it was uncomfortable for them to hear about. When Bri and I recently were insulted and received thinly-veiled threats from a so-called friend and ally for speaking out about it, that was the last straw and a wake-up call.

When I learned about the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and about this year’s focus (“Freedom of Expression”, an interesting coincidence), it served as a valuable and timely reminder for me that speaking about my experiences is not wrong. Those who tell others that the hatred and discrimination they face on a daily basis is imaginary or attention-seeking behavior; those who make others feel wrong, shamed, intimidated, and threatened for speaking out about it; they are the ones who are wrong. While I live in an area where it’s not safe to be out in real life, I will no longer let anyone intimidate me into silence online, especially on my own (and my wife’s) pages. IDAHOT has inspired me to reclaim my voice and has given me the perfect excuse to start using it again.

– AJ Spellman

{Thanks to AJ, sweet hubby o’ mine, for sharing his words with us! I hope that he’ll continue to share his meanderings with us here. That said, PLEASE do not copy and paste these words as your own! If you would like to share, please do so directly from this post, or give appropriate credit including a link back to this page. Thanks so much!}

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