In 1998 a woman named Rita Hester was murdered because she was transgender. Her murder kicked off a memorial project that would eventually become the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which occurs November 20th of each year.
Part of the TDOR project was the creation of a website dedicated to memorializing individuals who were murdered because they identified as (or were perceived as) transgender or intersex. I recently looked through some of the profiles of the deceased, and I was horrified. From an infant forced to eat glass because it had ambiguous genitalia to an FTM individual who was found in a barrel of hydrochloric acid with electrical cords around his neck, this is the stuff of nightmares.
I'll admit it- I used to feel uncomfortable about the idea of transgendered individuals. It wasn't until recently that I understood and came to sympathize with their struggle. Not only do they enjoy fewer rights than the rest of the LGBTIQ conglomerate, but they also suffer greater prejudice. Even the LGBTIQ community occasionally plays down the "TI." Transfolk have it rough.
LGBTIQ individuals often tell heterosexuals not to take their sexuality for granted. But how often do we take our gender for granted? What if your body was a prison you felt trapped within?
18 years old and I've only ever met one (openly) transgender individual. If you're reading this post and identify as transgender, contact me. I want to become a better ally. Help me out.