Accepting the Unacceptable: A Paradox of Marginalization

I realized something today, when I was ruminating about being called “t****y” for the first time yesterday.

Maybe this is something everyone else already figured out. I suspect it’s generally applicable to all marginalization.

Here it is: A central tragedy of marginalization is that you have to accept that sometimes you’ll be forced into a position of accepting the unacceptable.

While it shouldn’t be your responsibility, you’re forced to face a set of choices and choose the least terrible among them.

Sometimes the least-terrible choice available to you will be to tolerate something you find odious and ridiculous to have to tolerate.

Sometimes the only solace is to remember that by picking the best decision you’re not letting your oppression decide your destiny.

Sometimes the choice that feels like fighting is the choice that makes you worse off.

I suppose it’s a bit like a tactical retreat in that way; tolerate the incursion to fight another day on another field.

Today, dealing with the program where I was called “t****y,” I am retreating and tolerating the poor response from staff.

I don’t like the decision, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the least-terrible decision available.

It’s not a fair outcome. It’s not a just outcome. But it’s the outcome that’s best for me, notwithstanding the injustice and unfairness.

Life as a trans person: learning to accept the unacceptable because the alternative is worse.