Some of us, as we try to fit into society find ourselves stuck in an endless merry go round of lies and deceit, before we decide to own our true selves and transition.
Like an oversized foot trying to fit into an undersized shoe we struggle to become our true selves. The problem in this process is that when we believe our own lies or become so focused on what we believe the issues should be, we lose track of what the real issues are.
This also seems to be the problem with the current state of leadership here in Western Australia LGBTIQ Communities. In the Gender Diverse Community the "pond" has shrunk and become stagnant marked by a loss of Direction and Segregation between pre ops / post ops / no ops/ etc.
It's time to review and maybe even rest on the platform before commencing the next assault on the mountain. We are fluid creatures and we constantly change, but the essence of good leadership in a community does not.
The majority of trans people are "stealth" and stay hidden in society for various reasons, so the pool of available leaders is limited to a very small group who either aspire to obtain privileged status positions or who are willing to inspire and direct others in achieving community goals.
The limited human resource and lack of critical mass is one of the main reasons for the current state of stagnation, but as we become more visible in society and the media, stigma and discrimination should decrease and the pool of willing individual's should increase.
If any group is to exist, there should be a consensus style of decision making. Leadership is not about control or running a personal dictatorship. If groups and communities are to remain healthy and thrive, giving everyone a voice and a sense of direction is essential, or the gains and wins of the past will be reduced and limited if neglected by an incompetent or motivated for themselves Community Leadership Group.
In all Community Based Groups there should be consultation with stakeholders and members or target groups before making decisions that effect people. And Leaders instead of silently developing toxic cultures need to actively encourage the development of healthy organisational cultures while specifically speaking up against toxic practices such as bullying and not supporting the toxic behaviour of other's.
If you are a leader then you need to actually do some research and reading about how to be a good leader and accept valid criticism and/or say sorry when you make a mistake.
All in all, as we become more visible in the wider community more information is available to the general public about what it is to be trans, and the issues affecting us.
Leadership should be investing in and capitalising on the current exposure. Sadly, here in the West, there is mostly silent static and most often the only noise that does get heard comes from self appointed spokespeople fighting amongst themselves.
President, Tranz4mations AU
Footage of Jayne McFadyen giving a much needed and sensible Gender Diverse perspective at Equal Love WA's Marriage Equality Protest in Perth on 9th August 2015.