This morning, I changed my facebook profile picture to include the tag “TDOV 2020” which stands for Trans Day of Visibility which is today: March 31, 2020. But, what does this Trans Day of Visibility have to do with Body Liberation? Everything.
One of the fundamental realities upon which Body Liberation is built is the fact of Body Diversity. Body Diversity is the concept that ALL bodies are different, and ALL bodies are equally valuable and worthy of love, respect, and dignity. Trans bodies, in all the multitudes of ways they show up in the world, are no exception to this reality.
But Diet Culture has fed us this insidious lie that only one body is valuable and worthy of love, respect, and dignity. And I’m going to go ahead and tell you what that ONE body is right now, in case it isn’t obvious to you. This ONE valuable and worthy body is cis, straight, white, thin, able-bodied, whole, disease and illness-free, and definitely rich. And, that leaves a WHOLE lot of us out of the picture. That leaves a whole lot of us, who believe Diet Culture’s lies, grasping for ways to be something different than we fundamentally are. That leaves a whole lot of us believing that there is something fundamentally wrong with our bodies.
Your Body is Not a Problem.
All Bodies Are Good Bodies.
THESE are the slogans of Body Liberation and yes, they are a rallying cry against the bullshit of Diet Culture that would tell us only one single, specific body in this world is worthy of love, respect, and dignity; that only ONE narrowly-defined body is valuable and should be protected. These phrases mean that when we experience shame around or hatred of our bodies, it is not our bodies themselves causing that issue, it is our culture and the bullshit lies it has taught us to believe about bodies. Your body is not the problem – Diet Culture is. Your body was never a problem. A “good” body, within Diet Culture is the body that complies with that one norm – Diet Culture sells so many products that promise to get you closer to being able to comply with that one norm but Body Liberation is here to tell us that this is bullshit. Not just that one body – ALL bodies are good bodies – ALL bodies deserve love, respect and dignity. All bodies are valuable.
All bodies deserve protection from harm and freedom from violence – including the deeply damaging emotional violence of being denied their own humanity. The fear trans people face every day in this world is extraordinarily harmful in many ways. The fear trans people have to face is a denial of their humanity. The way that trans people feel pressured and even mandated to comply with that one norm just to be seen as human is a horrific, and crazy-making injustice.
As Martin Luther King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We cannot believe in Body Liberation only for some. Body Liberation, at its very core, has to be for ALL. Because if one among us does not have access to it, then none of us truly have access to it. The erasure that trans bodies face is an erasure of anyone who does not fully meet all of the criteria for that one, narrowly-defined “good” body that Diet Culture has given us. That is why Body Liberation MUST be and IS trans-positive!
Today, I want to make it very clear that Every. Body. Fitness & Yoga, because it is a Body Liberation oriented business, supports and celebrates trans people! When we say Every. Body., we MEAN EVERY. Body. Trans people deserve to be seen and acknowledged and respected, on this Trans Day of Visibility and every single day after.
Trans-beloveds: We see you. We support you. We work towards Body Liberation for you!
is an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer; an ACE-Certified Group Fitness Instructor; a certified Yoga Teacher; a Certified Intuitive Eating Professional; and a degree-holding Health, Fitness Specialist. She lives in Frankfort, Michigan and owns Every. Body. Fitness and Yoga Studio.