Ride With Us!

Originally appeared in Transgender Tapestry #104, Winter 2004.

by Deborah Greenway

We are in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the more conservative cities in America. Not only that, but the powers that be here can be somewhat intrusive, as well?yet our transgender group, Engendered Species, has thrived here, probably because of our uniqueness rather than in spite of it.
In the past, I?ve seen many who, in their aloneness in a culture that promotes obedient, sheep-like behavior, have convinced themselves that their lives as transgendered were worse than worthless. I?ve also seen some who grew to the place where all of God?s creation had value, and the immense worth of a justly motivated individual in the world is hard to contain.
I, too, was once frightened both of myself and of others, and hid from both other people and the opportunities the world had to offer.

Today, I ride in a parade and wave at thousands of people. I?m clearly marked as transgendered, and I feel the joyous energy of contagious enthusiasm. There may be some disapproval, but I wouldn?t know, as any negative voices were drowned out by the many cheers of the majority who appreciate seeing who one is in the light of possibilities.

This is a dream come true?a dream once so distant, I never even thought to dream.

Ride With Us! Because this is Pride Day, and the Pride Day Parade!

Ride With Us! Because this is your day!

Ride With Us! Because you have in some degree, at some time, been hiding. Though most of us may have legitimate tactical reasons for not telling certain people, the fact remains that denying oneself also has the effect of telling an inner part of you that you are not desirable, a person to be refused, an ally to those who hate.

Ride With Us! Because you are surrounded by friends, and in your memories, aren?t the best ones usually those that involved a shared experience, purpose or joy?

Ride With Us! Because the people who would use selected myths or religion in their battle with their own comfort levels have in the past (and will again) try to grind you down in the service of their own life burdens.

Ride With Us! Because together it is easier for us to both symbolically and
literally join and drown out by sheer numbers those who would play God
and condemn us.

Ride With Us! Because some of you will change your personalities on this ride. You will see, with all your senses, that what both others and your own thoughts have tried, convicted, and sentenced you for now gets you being treated like a rock star!

Ride With Us! Because you will float on air for days afterward, using this memory for a perfect antidote to those anxious, trying moments of discovery, rejection or fear.

Ride With Us! Because this ride can be the bridge to the rest of your life!