An Albanian taxi company recently refused to offer a ride to trans people. There’s a recording of their customer service rep saying there was nothing she could do because:
“None of the drivers could bring themselves to accept a trans person in their cars.”
People are calling for a boycott of (the ironically named) Green Taxi.
Many people in the comments were saying it’s the company’s right who they choose to serve and not.
Are Albanians discriminatory towards the LGBTQ community?
For most of us, the fact that Albanians are discriminatory towards Trans or Gay people isn’t exactly news or surprising.
Yet, most don’t really care for discrimination when it’s not directed at them or their loved ones.
If a taxi company decided not to offer rides to old people, would it be right? Would people still be defending Green Taxi?
1.4 million people in the US identify as transgender (as of 2016).
That’s 0.6% of the population.
Albanian population in 2016 – 2.9 million.
If we were to apply 0.6% worldwide, that would imply there are 17,256 Trans people in Albania.
When we ask expecting couples what they’d like their baby’s gender to be, most of them say “As long as they’re healthy, it doesn’t matter.”
There is nothing “wrong” with Trans people in Albania or anywhere. If anything, the courage it takes to admit you’re not yourself in your body is more than most people will ever muster in their entire lives.
What if one of them is your best friend? What if it’s me, or your sibling, who has been listening to how you speak about Trans people all her life and will spend her life as someone else, unhappy, hiding, just not to disappoint you?
Travel with Green Taxi or don’t, I’m sure many other taxi companies in Albania feel the exact same way.
Until we start putting our money where our mouth is and only support businesses whose values align with ours, they will continue to.
Until we stop judging people who aren’t causing harm to anyone, (possibly) someone close to us will spend their entire life in pain for never being able to be fully themselves.
If you’re feeling suicidal and need immediate help, please call your country’s emergency services/suicide crisis lines. If you have or suspect that you have a mental health issue, please reach out to a licensed therapist.
I stand with the Trans community.
If you’re thinking, “Oh my God, Delfina, people are dying and you’re worried about this?!”
Something that took me a long time to learn is that pain is not a competition. As I said:
If you mention others’ sufferance to someone sharing their struggles with you, make sure it’s not to compare or diminish their pain. It’s another problem on its own.
If you say “But men get raped too!” as an answer to women getting raped, you’re part of the problem.
Sure, Albania has many problems. But it also has many resourceful people who can focus on various problems at the same time. I hope that’s you.