Unspoken Compromise — Why I Wrote The Book

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rizi blue 1-ret

My book, An Unspo­ken Com­pro­mise, is a mem­oir about my jour­ney as a trans­gen­der man and the tran­si­tions I have under­gone both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally through­out my life. In it I detail what it was like to grow up as a girl when I knew in my heart I was a boy and how I revealed my true iden­tity to fam­ily and friends. Along the way there was a lot of painful rejec­tion, a lot of soul search­ing and ask­ing God why I had to go through this. But there were also hope and love and accep­tance even­tu­ally, even if it some­times took years.

Why would I ever want to write such a book? These expe­ri­ences were some­times excru­ci­at­ing for me. For much of my young life, I doubted myself and every­one and every­thing around me. I was depressed and angry, and I felt I could never fit into this world where every­one else seemed to know exactly who they were-and what gen­der they were sup­posed to be. I felt like an out­cast, a pariah, even a demon at times. The fact that my mother’s church group reg­u­larly tried to exor­cise me didn’t help.

So why did I want to recount all of this, to put it down on paper and share it with the world? For one sim­ple fact that took me so long to under­stand: I am not alone in this fight. Back when I was a child, surely there were other trans­gen­der indi­vid­u­als, but no one ever spoke of them, and they cer­tainly did not tell their own sto­ries. I thought I was the only one until I was eight, when two friends told me they had seen a man on The Sally Jessy Raphael Show who had under­gone a gender-reassignment oper­a­tion and become a woman. That was the first inkling I had that I was not alone, and I am hop­ing my book can offer that sort of “aha!” moment for oth­ers going through the same thing.

Of course, these days infor­ma­tion flows more freely than it did back then. Now we have the Inter­net and social media,which give us the abil­ity to see and learn about peo­ple from diverse cul­tures and reli­gious back­grounds, peo­ple of eth­nic­i­ties that are dif­fer­ent from our own, and peo­ple of many sex­ual ori­en­ta­tions and gen­der iden­ti­ties. With this mas­sive, unprece­dented expo­sure has come a new sort of under­stand­ing of peo­ple who fall into minor­ity classes and the strug­gles they face every day. This in turn has, I believe, led to some his­tor­i­cal occa­sions such as the US Supreme Court’s over­turn­ing the Defense of Mar­riage Act and many states’ legal­iz­ing same-sex mar­riage, as did six­teen coun­tries around the world in 2013.

Unspoken Compromise Cover

Still, we have a long way to go. Same-sex mar­riage is in the spot­light right now, and that’s fan­tas­tic; it’s been a long time com­ing. But it does not paint the entire pic­ture. Back there in the shad­ows, we trans­gen­der indi­vid­u­als are qui­etly (and some­times not so qui­etly) wait­ing for the day when our sit­u­a­tions will be deemed socially accept­able enough to dis­cuss in polite con­ver­sa­tion. When we are shown in the media, most of the time it’s as a source of ridicule or scorn, or in news reports that another one of us has been beaten or killed for who we are. Yes, Lav­erne Cox is won­der­ful on Orange Is the New Black, but why do peo­ple always have to refer to her as a trans­gen­der actor? Can’t she sim­ply be a great actor on a hit TV show?

Until the pub­lic at large can look at a trans­gen­der indi­vid­ual and see that he or she is just that-a he or a she, not some con­fused mix between the two, this fight will con­tinue: for our rights, for our iden­ti­ties, for our very lives. In An Unspo­ken Com­pro­mise, I tell my story as just one foot sol­dier in this war so oth­ers can see how far we’ve come and that together we can move on to a bright future.


Bio: Rizi Xavier Timane is a cer­ti­fied grief recov­ery spe­cial­ist and life coach with master’s degrees in man­age­ment and social work and a PhD in Chris­t­ian coun­sel­ing. Rizi is a com­mis­sioned min­is­ter and founder of Rizi Timane Min­istries (rizigospel.org). He writes for the South­ern Poverty Law Center’s Teach­ing Tol­er­ance and other mag­a­zines and has released an inspirational/gospel album titled Come Out. His book is avail­able on ama­zon or his web­site http://www.rizixaviertimane.com

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