Violence Accomplishes Nothing For Transgender People

Muriel and I were talking recently. In case you have been up on the news, I have a girlfriend. She happens to be trans. I call her Muriel because I respect her privacy.

Anyway, she and I were talking about an article she wrote. It was about radicals, terrorists, and generally violence perpetrated by radicalized people. In it she described a trans person who, themselves was “at the threshold of radicalization”. This person, she wrote, made the case for direct action against those perpetuating violence against trans people. Muriel also said she agreed with this person’s arguments. Almost.

But she changed her mind.

During our conversation, we talked about a lot of past violence. Violence perpetrated by terrorists yes. But also “economic” violence billionaires wage. But I couldn’t help focusing on some transgender people’s calls for violence against those who wage violence on them.

I understand the sentiment. But no matter how much relief such violence offers temporarily, it’s not worth what violence ultimately creates. Which is, of course, more violence.

I want to dig into this a bit.

Violence is powerlessness manifested

If we look at people who commit violence, we’ll find something of note. Every violent actor acts from powerlessness. Violence is the act of the powerless. It is action taken by one who has lost all control. Or someone bent on “justice”. Which in most violent cases, is really “revenge”. In every case, they believe they have no other option. That’s powerlessness.

Every racist, bigot or conservative, Christian whacko who perpetuates violence against trans people also does so out of ignorance. Think about it. Such people rarely get to know a transgender person. They do no research on the matter. Or they rely on religious texts. Texts often taken out of context. So they possess no real education on the subject. They’re fueled by fear. And they feel powerless. All that leads to irrational action. Which is almost always what violent acts are: irrational.

The only exception is self-defense. But even there, violence is problematic. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Some trans-attracted men resorted to violence. That’s the “gay panic” defense often used years ago, when it seemed trans women were being killed at epidemic rates. “Gay panic” points to powerlessness. The men literally scared themselves out of all reason. Because their stories about their trans-attraction triggered catastrophic conclusions. “What will my homies think?” “What will my fellow Marines think?” “They’ll ridicule me!”

So people who fear the transgender phenomena act from fear, ignorance and powerlessness. Is it then really a good idea for trans people to choose violence? Trans people arguing for violence are becoming that which they fear: Irrational, ignorant powerless people.

The alternative to violence is compassion. Let’s look at that next.

Violence relinquishes the moral high ground

I argue often that trans people represent a leading edge evolution of humanity. By definition such people will face persecution. All pioneers do. At first. Then their way becomes accepted practice. And that’s what trans people are doing. They set a new bar for what it means to be human. A bar taking humanity to another level of human-ness.

This means, of course, that trans people hold a high ground of morality. And, because of what they represent evolutionarily, they exist on the right side of history. Just look at how many trans children alter their parents’ views. I argue more such positive change is quietly happening. In homes, schools, boardrooms and yes bathrooms, more positive change is happening than not. It’s just that resistance is news. Controversy is too. So the media reports that. Instead of the good news. Which explains why I suggest that my clients not listen to the news.

Good news doesn’t sell.

So the trans community resorting to violence instantly gives up its moral high ground. It becomes what it is changing. Then it perpetuates more of that.

Violence almost always creates more violence. Look around. The Middle East is aflame with it. And that conflict has been going on forever. Terrorists haven’t solved their perceived problems with violence. The US and its allies or Russia accomplished nothing with violence waged on Afghanistan. Indeed, it could be argued that they just created more terrorists. There’s no value to the trans community in embracing violence.

Which brings me to the next point.

Violence creates no positive outcomes

Very little good happens from waging violence. This is debatable though. World wars, for example, triggered a lot of positive outcomes. But were those outcomes worth the deaths, carnage and suffering?

And even with those outcomes the seeds of the next war were planted. Which is why we keep having wars. If anything is guaranteed from violence, it’s that it sows the seeds of more violence. Including escalation of violence.

Even in the case of self defense, violence creates more problems than not. Violence is very expensive. It’s legally risky. It sows the seeds of retribution.

A conversation playing out in graffiti between presumably trans people and cis folks.

Notice those best prepared for violence eschew that path. I’m talking about experts in meting out violence. Special forces individuals and highly-ranked martial artists, for example, are some of the most peaceful people around. When confronted with violence, they near-always mete out the least necessary violence to neutralize the threat. In other words, their violence is informed largely by compassion, light-heartedness and a rational, open mind trained through years of practice. I should know: I have high ranks in nine different martial arts disciplines.

If a situation has devolved to violence, then involved parties have both lost. The best option is averting any need for violence in the first place. Which means creating an environment where you and violence are incompatible. That’s a natural result of my client work.

But that’s also another story.

Violence brings more suffering on the violent

A client once asked me about people out there who would do violence to you no matter what. “Shouldn’t I prepare myself or at least think about those possibilities?” She asked.

“Here’s another alternative,” I said. “You could create a reality wherein those kinds of people can’t find you. Then you don’t have to prepare for anything.”

It’s taken her a while, but she now sees the wisdom in those words. For she doesn’t worry about bad things happening to her anymore. The same potential exists for every trans person. Every person actually. We all are the center of our universe. Nothing comes into our experience we don’t invite. And we invite through our stories.

So if we want a life free of transphobes, creating that life is easy. It takes some work at first. But it’s available to any trans person. And when that world exists, where’s the need for violence or even preparing for it?

But the violent always are on edge. They perpetually think about facing violence. So they must arm themselves. Then they must brandish their arms. They must bluster and join forces with other violence-oriented people.

That kind of energy isn’t conducive to the human organism. It literally creates sickness. Mental illness yes. But also physical illnesses like cancer and other deadly conditions.

Furthermore, no matter how much you prepare for violence, there will always be someone more violent than you. One that can literally consume your life.

Is that the kind of life you want? I sure don’t. I’d rather create for myself a life of peace and harmony. And let the violent blow each other up!

Trans people are better than that

Finally, trans people are so much better than needing to resort to the irrational acts of violence. So many more productive options exist. The most powerful – and rewarding – one being taking charge of your creative powers and creating a life where violence can’t find you.

In that state, we maximize our connection with that which had us choose coming into the world as trans and trans-attracted in the first place. Maximizing that connection infuses us with a sense of our divine power. That power can literally change worlds.

And it does change worlds. Nothing else does, believe it or not.

Violence certainly doesn’t. It hasn’t ended wars. It has’t created peace. Communities aren’t free of it.

But your world can be free of it.

Embracing violence is beneath transgender people. It does no one any good. And it robs trans people of the love that inherently exists in them.

For if you’re contemplating violence, you’re not contemplating love, compassion and joy. Love compassion and joy alone makes violence go away. They’re my weapons of choice these days.

I suggest they be yours too.