A word that separates like a fence; that splits and cuts, that humiliates; forces a wedge.
They don’t occur, they don’t matter.
We think, in our heads of terms like ‘Neither’.
The Third. The In-between. The out of context.
Words, spaces, laws that separate ‘us’ from ‘them’
And ‘them’ from everything we believe ourselves entitled to.
It means “You cannot sit next to me.”
It means “Stay away from us.”
It means “You could be exploited, cast out, pillaged and wounded; yet…”
A Definitive Yet.
“It would be none of our business.”
It means “You cannot live the way we do”
It means “You cannot want what we want. Or want to be wanted.”
It also means, perhaps, “We are afraid of you!”
This ‘Others’ has grown too large, untamed and unprotected. This has gone on for too long.
Way too long.
We have hurt, immensely.
We have made serious errors, committed some terrible crimes.
Let’s try again.
It’s never too late.
“You are different, but so are we, and that is a perfectly human way to be. ”
“We are not entitled to any space we deny you.”
“You are welcome.”
“Let us join you. ”
“We shall not stand by and watch each other suffer. ”
For the thousands of transgender people around the country.
Let us re-invent
let us re-imagine
what ‘Others’ could now mean.
‘Others’ in a way that makes sense. That includes, that nurtures; and provides.
That firmly peels away the cleaving layers of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’
They are not others.
They are Us.
Written by Uma Madhu