Last summer 6-year-old Scarlett had the worst experience of her life at day camp: Her best friend told the other girls that Scarlett has a penis. Amazingly, the little girl had enough resilience to return to camp the next day. But it was the genesis of the day camp that her mother Sandra is launching in California this summer: the Bay Area Rainbow Day Camp.
It's hard to write about these tragedies without falling into sadness or anger, or without inadvertently raising the visibility of the victim's deaths over their lives. It's also hard to write about it without knowing exactly how, as a cis-gendered ally, to make it better. But we don't have the luxury of time.
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
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.
I've been asked many times before if I fear that my son will "change his mind." What if he "decides he wants to be a girl again"? What if I made a mistake by allowing him to transition at such a young age? I know that without walking a mile in my shoes, it's hard to understand. So let's pretend my child wasn't born to be transgender.
When asked what I did on YouTube, I used to say that I made videos to help other trans youth. However, the truth is that everyone who has reached out to me has helped me. That's what is vital about community; it hasn't been a unilateral mentoring relationship but a let's-help-one-another-and-see-what-we-can-build-together-from-this partnership.