November 19, 2010

And you thought being gay was hard?

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.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post, Matt. I bet Summer's proud of you =)

    UNC has a lot of Trans-Related stuff and I'm trying to talk to Danny and Terri to see if they can bring Safe Zone Challenge to Duke, at least in some little way. Durham's got a vibrant trans community though, Summer can definitely help you out there. The only problem is that a lot of my friends who are a part of the trans (not so much intersex) community don't like to associate with the other members of the "soup" persay. It's mainly due to safety as well as prejudice. Best of luck though, I'm basically trying the same thing over here!