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‘Cis kids are born peaceful, trans kids are born exhausted’

On the ‘National Day of Trans Visibility’, Jared Amarante brought a reflection on trans children

These days I was at Praça Roosevelt, downtown São Paulo. It was around eleven o’clock at night. I wanted to go out and ‘get some air’, distract my mind, as I sometimes do on weekends. Accompanied by a friend, we were walking and talking when I saw three people standing there staring at me, I smiled awkwardly when they got closer. Almost at the same time, they asked, “Are you the writer for Ariel?” So I promptly said: ‘yes, my book sells in that region, too’. We talked a little about the work and I got thoughtful.

Who cares to talk about a book with a title of that length? ‘Ariel – the crossing of a trans and quilombola prince’. That’s the question I asked myself, I ask myself. The first month of the year is also National Trans Visibility Month, but how many of us know that? How many of us engage in this? How much do we care about our trans kids? That’s a conversation, today, from child to child, because it is at this age that we need to reinforce our self-esteem, we need to feel loved, special, belonging, represented. More than that, we must be protected, encouraged to dream. And going further, we want to be living children!

My CIS child looks at her TRANS child and understands that we are not in the same boat, but that we can row together. Because when you’re in a place of privilege, you do something because who isn’t there. When you’re in a conversation circle and nobody wants to talk about trans people, you speak up and ask for respect. When you don’t understand much about the subject, shut up or spew transphobia, you google it and go study. And when you can’t love a trans body, you don’t have to. But you have to respect it, because it’s a body that wants to live, that dreams, that suffers, that wants to fulfill itself, that deserves the world. And I like to complete this with what the psychologist said, Rossandro Klinjeywhose sentence is on one of the ears of my book: ‘I don’t need your love, but I don’t give up your respect’.

This book invites people to reflect on the plurality of the world, of bodies, because we cannot deny spaces. A cis child, especially if he is white, is born being seen. They are on TVs, magazines, soap operas, movies, advertisements. What about a trans child? It has to be born and ‘looked for’, because it is born missing. Places don’t want her, people don’t validate her, they demonize her. So what must it be like to grow up and not see it? Is it really being alive? How is it to have to fight, beg, go to the streets, face real wars to be seen? It’s exhaustion. Cis kids are born peaceful, trans kids are born exhausted, get exhausted, struggle exhausted. They live exhausted, they die exhausted.

As a writer and journalist, aware of privileges, having a cis, white, thin body, I believe in knowledge as something essential for the world to be better, so I wrote this book, because it is necessary to shake up society, historical reparation is urgent, because we are late with this debt, which is also historic. Cis bodies, I call you to be better, to seek knowledge, to engage, to be shocked and revolted by the cruel statistics of this country: ‘According to the 2021 report by Transgender Europe (TGEU), which monitors data worldwide , through trans and LGBTQIA+ institutions, Brazil is still the country that kills the most trans people on the planet’.

We are the country that, in the first place, thinks about excluding trans children, trans adolescents, trans adults and, I could say, even trans elderly people, but these collectivities have a life expectancy that often does not exceed 35 years, because they are killed by prejudice, or commit suicide, the result of aggression, prejudice, despair, helplessness, strength, opportunities, public policies.

A book may not change the world, but it changes someone’s world. I am sure of this whenever I see a trans child reading Ariel and feeling part of royalty, beauty, social relevance. Or when I see a cis kid reading Ariel and I think she might be able to make the world a better place. I want us to be tireless in supporting the plurality of life. For the world is not defined in binarism.

Source: Maxima

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