Trans of Thought: My queer lessons from the last year

Welcome to November and Trans Awareness Month! It is the month I can finally turn my attention in full to the holidays without somebody reminding me that Halloween, or “gay Christmas” as some people refer to it, has yet to happen.

Now I get why our community loves Halloween so much. It has none of the encumbrances of getting together with family and the anxiety-inducing complications that can present for LGBTQ+ people, parties are plentiful and we get to pretend to be whoever we want to be.

In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that I took the opportunity to shave off my beard and dress up as a “lesbian cheerleader” on Halloween. The beard never came back, but the lesbian part decided three years later she needed more than one day a year.

In addition to planting myself in front of the television for hours to watch the cheesy Christmas romance movies this month, November is also a more serious time of reflection for me. Recently I found myself thinking about how, without a doubt, the last year was the queerest one of my life. I saw the return of some of my favorite queer girl events like Pensacola Unleashed and Girls in Wonderland, I joined the board of Come Out With Pride as the Director of Communications, served on the local steering committee that helped bring the National Trans Visibility March to Orlando and helped to increase the profile of lesbians at both Pride Week and The Most Colorful Parade. Along the way, I learned some valuable lessons.

2021 was the year I turned 50, which thanks to the accompanying 50th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, Disney won’t allow me to forget for at least the next 18 months. However, with that golden milestone also came a newfound willingness to cut off toxic people. The most significant example came at Thanksgiving last year when I was subjected to a parade of misgendering by my mother that, thanks to the gendered nature of Spanish, seemed to happen every other sentence. I had spent the preceding 10 years trying to get her to accept me as her daughter and it suddenly dawned on me that she never would. I promptly had an anxiety attack at the realization, and after consulting with my therapist, decided to end all contact. I must say my life has changed for the better even with the familial complications that have ensued. For those of you contemplating doing the same thing, I will just say that life is too short to constantly expose ourselves to a source of pain we can avoid.

To illustrate my next point, close your eyes and imagine that 22 of the 23 Marvel movies leading up to “Avengers: Endgame” were about female superheroes or if the Avengers themselves were made up of eight women and two guys. If that just “feels wrong” then why do we not feel the same way about the fact that men dominated these movies? Maybe it isn’t news that we live in a patriarchal society but having been involved behind the scenes in major queer women’s events and overall LGBTQ+ events, I can say that the same inequity extends to queer men in regard to queer women. You can see this in how our general events will include programming that will be of great appeal to queer men and have limited appeal to queer women, but the reverse is rarely true. Even when programming is meant to appeal primarily to queer women, it is rendered in a form palatable to queer men. It is like asking for cake instead of ice cream and getting cake flavored ice cream. What I have learned is that we need more queer women, trans, bi, nonbinary people and every other stripe of the rainbow not just involved but EMPOWERED to make change in all our queer organizations if we truly want “diversity” to mean something.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t address how transphobia has gained a major foothold since last year. Just in the last month, queer trans exclusionary groups like the LGB Alliance have been platformed on major news outlets like the BBC with poorly vetted and researched articles that present trans women as “forcing” cisgender lesbians to have sex by, ironically enough, accusing them of being transphobic if they didn’t. I know these voices and others actually make up a minority of the LGBTQ+ community, but if I could have one request of all of you it would be, please be vocal with your support of trans people. It can’t always fall to your trans friends to speak out. I cannot overstate what a boost it is to our morale and mental health. I broke down and wept several times this year during the Trans Visibility March at the cheers and smiles of our queer community. I didn’t expect to feel that way and it brought home to me the lesson of the healing power of love in the midst of so much hate. Have a great holiday season and I hope to see you all at Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.

Melody Maia Monet has her own YouTube channel where she answers lesbian and transgender life questions you are afraid to ask. You can find it at

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