I kept silent about my sex change for several years. I knew only one other transgender lawyer, and she was already established. There were no role models to help me believe it was possible to open up without jeopardizing my career. I feared losing the life ring that my job provided for my soul. But no woman is an island.
If you are ever in doubt about whether to ask some burning question, first ask yourself if you would pose the same question about the body of a non-trans youth or adult, perhaps your own child or a student or neighbor. If the answer is no, don't ask. If you find yourself biting your tongue, keep biting.
This week's episode covers discrimination against LGBTI people in Uganda. Cleo is invited to a secret meeting with the Ugandan government to prove that she's real. In the episode I search for an answer to the question of why it's so hard for people to accept anything that doesn't fit into society's norms.
In the fourth episode of The Pearl of Africa, a documentary series about love, hate and being transgender, we get a glimpse into what Cleo and Nelson's relationship really means. They've loved each other since high school and plan to get married in the future, and Cleo grapples with the desire to start a family.
Ms. Leyth Jamal was subjected to a hostile work environment at the Saks department store in the Houston Galleria when she was employed there in 2012. The harassment was typical and brutal: routine misgendering, forcing her to use the men's room, and a general environment grounded in ridicule from her co-workers.
In an effort to hasten change, the Transgender Human Rights Institute has begun a petition calling for a permanent end to transgender conversion therapy in Leelah's name. At this point, only with help from the federal government can we hope to see differences made quickly in the United States on this front.
In 2012 Kylar made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to testify before the U.S. Senate. He was speaking in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. His truthful speech touched me then, and he continues to fight for transgender people now.
Let us not forget that transgender is an umbrella that encompasses all persons whose authentic identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female genders and assigned gender at birth. Male and female are increasingly being presented as two distinct states, with nothing between.
The state is unwilling to define reparative therapy and denial of medical care to transgender youths as abuse. We cannot change what religious leaders are preaching, nor do our voices carry enough weight to effectively gainsay their religious messaging. A radical new direction is needed. Therefore, I propose an emancipation project.