I was 63-years-old and never could say the word out loud. I was afraid that if I dared to utter it -- if the word actually formed and left my lips, it would make it true -- and then -- my life would be over.
The gains in marriage equality and LGBT rights come on the heels of decades of queer marches, demands and legal challenges. They did not come from trying to not offend hetero-normativity.
Is this what we want, to make people nervous about engaging in dialogue? I hate to think about all the teachable moments that never happened because someone was afraid to ask me -- or any of us -- a question.
As of today, trans women of color are the most targeted victims of hate. They are murdered by men who pass them on the street, by intimate partners in bed and by lovers who traded in love and understanding for ignorance and violence.
While marriage equality may be all but won, and Time declared a transgender tipping point, 2015 is off to a record breaking start. Not the good kind. Through the first seven weeks of 2015 at least six transgender women have been murdered.
I call on all non-trans people: queer allies, straight activists, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, bandmates, soulmates, teens and elders, ministers, doctors and teachers -- let the world know that you care about trans folk, no matter how they identify, and that you stand with us.
Before he could talk, he was wearing my high heels. Sometimes I would let him wear them to the store, and this was in DC, so it's not common.
When black people are homophobic, they are doing the oppressor's work for them, and when white queers erase the experiences and efforts of black transgender women and LGBTQ youth of color, they are doing the oppressor's work for them.
Let us keep Aniya in our hearts and spread our love with our actions. With that we will invoke justice. In the words of the great Cornel West, "Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public."
Congressman Honda's granddaughter will never have to wonder how her grandfather feels about her. She will see it in the work that he does, the hugs he gives, and the eyes that gaze upon her with love. What a gift he has given to her... and to all of us, by extension.
For as long as he could remember, his parents, especially his father, had rejected him because he was a boy so effeminate that he was often mistaken for a girl.
In memory of Leelah and our loved ones who have died, and in honor of Susan and those who come out each day as a transgender person, let's try to treat people of all genders, no genders, multiple genders and of various gender expressions as fully human and made in God's image.
Before the episode aired, I had asked every one that I knew to record the episode. I then asked them to freeze frame on every part of the choir. I wanted them to see what I saw, a group of people that were truly a cross section of our country.
Ryan Sallans, who is a transgender man and author of the book Second Son, is an activist and international speaker on this topic. Ryan has agreed to answer my questions regarding some of the most-talked-about questions about what it means to be transgender.
We in the LGBT community know that our inner lives have improved when our own guards have retired, and wonder what it might take for others to stop living in fear of not only our truth, but also their own truth. We wonder!
It was several years ago when I had my first experience with a friend coming out to me as transgender. I hadn't seen her for many years, but I was happy for her transition from the young man I had known to her new self.