For a long time, I refrained from being who I am because thought I was something offensive, something people would set aside, something people woud never understand, respect or even love. I neglected my real me, my inner personality. I forced myself to build a personna, a fake clown. I had to lie when I felt socially uncomfortable, dissimulate in many different situations and I didn’t let anyone know who I really was deep inside, and today I know that was because I wasn’t able to celebrate who I was.
Believe me, I am just like everyone of you reading this article. But everyone of us, every human life in this planet has a negotiation between private life and public identity. I am a transgender woman, this is my private negotiation. And the price for being an unusual person has (still) been high. Every year, more than 400 trans people die in our country, specially in São Paulo, state where I live in. And what sets people like me apart from these people dying out there is sometimes only an opportunity. Many of them are repulsed by their families when they come out, when they expose their real identity. They don’t have the chance to speak up, to build this new history, to build this new cycle of life with the ones who were supposed to support them and care for them.
I’m a privileged person and trans woman. I’m white, I don’t live in the slums, I’m an English teacher who has had an amazing job. I was blessed to have a family that loves me and also the luck to be surrounded by brilliant friends, peers and students. It was through love and education that I could see a wider horizon. But what about those still apart? Would a black, lesbian and poor trans woman have the same chance? The same opportunity? Would she be a teacher in a great education institution like me?
I remember I once watched Viola Davis during her Emmy’s speech for best supporting actress when she quoted Harriet Tupman, an American humanist writer: “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line, I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line, but I can’t seem to get there no matter how.” This quote is from the 1800s, but extremely up to date. I truly believe education resignifies the world we live in, it celebrates us, the magnifies us, it humanizes us, and most importantly, it makes us visible.
We must not see lines separating minorities, we must see circles. integrating who we consider “different” or “unusual”. We cannot have walls, may we all build bridges. We must know, respect and try to love each other. Life is in fact beautiful because it’s diverse, it’s colourful, it’s wide and it is complex.
Love will make us united. Love is the word.
Only LOVE. Happy conscious women’s day!
Laura had lived in New York for 3 years and studied at IS 007 School in Brooklin. She has been at Cultura Inglesa – SP for 4 years and she has become a reference among students and peers. Lauras is mostly interested in students engagement and in stablishing a trustful relationship between teacher and students