If you stop to think about it, you will realize that unicorns are not often seen these days. They are rare – so rare that we will sometimes call someone a “unicorn” if that person exhibits traits which are seldom found in the general population.
And being so rare, most people are completely uninformed about the genuine characteristics of unicorns. People often think they have magical properties or exhibit a higher, more-evolved consciousness. Which is a joke, really, because – as anyone who has ever met a unicorn will tell you – they (1) have a wicked sense of humor, (2) do not suffer fools gladly, and (3) will fuck anything or anyone who stands still long enough for them to climb on top (and as to (3), I am speaking about male unicorns; as to female unicorns, I blush to describe their behavior, and you will just have to use your imagination). But I digress.
My point is this: That inasmuch as we do not come into contact with unicorns in our daily life, we are certain to be ill-informed about their habits and proclivities. People are led to speculate wildly about their tendencies, and great falsehoods about them are shared freely in society, as if such falsehoods told the “truth” of unicorns. What is worse, many malicious lies are told about them, and there are only a few of us (familiar with unicorns) who are in a position to set the record straight.
Now going off on a tangent, and on a personal note, I want to tell you that I recently attended my 45th college reunion. Prior to the reunion, an online survey was conducted, and out of the 301 classmates who responded, 4 revealed themselves to be transgender! (One trans-man and the others – including myself – trans-women.) So I – Holly – went to my reunion and “re-united” with my classmates, who only knew my former, male self. And I am happy to report, I was welcomed with much kindness. There was universal acceptance, support and affirmation of my new gender identity.
Now, if you “do the math,” you will see that 1.3% of my class (who responded) is transgender. Which I am sure is a larger percentage than anyone would have predicted. But then, after I got home, I read about a recently-released scientific study which revealed that the true percentage of transgender people in the U.S. is about 0.6% (rather than 0.3% as previously believed). So there are roughly twice as many of the “T” (in “LGBT”) as we used to think.
So, in terms of absolute numbers, this means there are about 1.4 million transgender people in our country. Not a small number, but “number” is only part of the story, as I will explain.
We transgender men and women – when we live our lives “out” in society – cannot help but be visible. Only a minority of us can “pass” as our authentic gender, so as we go about our daily lives we are quickly recognized for who we are. But then I asked myself, “How might we measure – scientifically – this visibility?”
Well, here is what I came up with. (And bear with me as I explain my thinking.) The scientific definition of “1 horsepower” is “550 foot pounds per second.” Meaning “550 foot pounds” of energy expended over “1 second” of time. It is a (defined) measure of force acting over a (defined) measure of time. You have to measure both the “force” and the “time,” since either can vary, depending on the circumstances.
In our common, every-day world, we know we are able to measure (if we wish) both (1) the number of local trannies who are visibly “out,” and (2) how many days (during any given period) those trannies can be seen on their way to the grocery store, the drug store, the hair salon, and gay bars in the neighborhood. Thus, we can measure “visibility” for transgender men and women based on (1) “number of trannies” and (2) “days out in public.”
So… I propose that we adopt as our “Standard Unit of Transgender Visibility” the “PPU” (“Pretty, Proud Unicorn”); which we define as “1 proud transgender man or woman living ‘out’ in society for 1 full day.” As an example, when I went to my reunion (which was held over a three-day weekend), I represented “3 PPUs” of visibility in the cause of making LGBT people visible in society. And if we do a little more math, we see those 1.4 million transgender men and women represent 511 million (!) PPUs of annual LGBT visibility! (1.4 million x 365 days)
Why, that’s nothing less than a Stampede of Unicorns! I would advise our country’s bigots and Bible-thumpers to stay indoors, lest they be trampled under-hoof!