To the Trans Community,
Happy Pride month! This is the time for us to celebrate who we are and how far we've come as individuals and as a community. Today I am proud to be a transgender woman. This pride month, I am celebrating 2 years on hormone replacement therapy. I feel more at home with my body than ever. My body has supported me and been able to do so much for me; now I finally recognize the person I see in the mirror. And for the time being I still have affordable access to the medical care I need on a monthly basis.
There's so much to be thankful for this year! Trans issues are more visible than ever. News outlets and companies are recognizing us. There are many trans people in the limelight spreading positive information about our community. I even can watch characters like me on T.V. shows like Orange Is The New Black, Transparent, Star, and I Am Jazz.
Even with all of this being said, it has been a really difficult year. Our identities are still being questioned, our rights are being restricted, and our lives are being taken. Last year was the deadliest year on record for the trans community. I had so much hope for the future last year. I was proud to be an American. This year I struggled to hear the news of our community being under attack. This was the deadliest year for trans women--especially trans women of color. This reminds me that the first pride march was a protest for our rights. Pride has become somewhat of a large party, which can be a good thing. With all that we face, it's necessary to take time for ourselves and focus on better things. But with the year we’ve had, I felt like I had to do something. I have a voice. I need to use it. So I’m standing up to this institutionalize violence and discrimination.
After the Stonewall Riot, Marsha P. Johnson said:
"Now they got two little nice statues in Chariot Park to remember the gay movement. How many people have died for these two little statues to be put in the park for them to recognize gay people? How many years has it taken people to realize that we are all brothers and sisters and human beings in the human race? I mean how many years does it take people to see that? We're all in this rat race together!"
It’s been too many lives. It’s been too long. I hear Miss Johnson’s call. I attended my first protest this last year. This was such a large and powerful event. Thank you for standing beside me at the Women’s March. In my day-to-day life, I use my social media as a platform to spread love and knowledge about the trans community. Alongside my personal journey, I share the journeys of trans and queer folk who submit their own content onto my blog. I celebrate people's name changes and transition timelines, I also comfort people when they're misgendered, their family doesn't accept them, or when they're struggling with how to identify. When I read a powerful or informative article about our community, I'll often share it and include my own thoughts or personal story to support or challenge it when necessary. Finally, this last month, I launched a new website based on the hashtag #transisbeautiful coined by Laverne Cox. Not everyone needs to believe that you are beautiful to be just. But no one should think you’re not beautiful because you’re trans. Check out thetransisbeautiful.com for resources and information. This is a safe space to connect and learn.
I wanted to conclude with a challenge. Not all of us can live so outspoken or march in protests and parades, but we can all use our tools to help our community. I want to challenge you to get involved somehow. Call your representatives, donate to LGBTQ+ charities, volunteer for advocacy organizations, call out transphobia, or simply share your story.
If you can't live out and proud, I see you. You are valid in whoever you know you are. There are no requirements for identities. I believe you. And I love you. You are so beautiful. If you're closeted or younger, know that you’re not alone. There are so many successful and happy people like you. We are fighting for you. We support you. One day you'll be free to live your life openly, wear what you want, love who you want, and be who you want! Stay patient. And stay strong. You are beautiful. Trans is beautiful.
Let's all celebrate who we are because who we are is beyond revolutionary or edgy or trendy. We are real. We've been here forever and we're not going anywhere. Lets stand together and speak out.