The night of my "passing," I realized I'd achieved in six months what some never achieve their entire lives. And in that moment, I recognized that I had a very specific type of privilege; a type that carries with it painful implications.
You might not want to harm trans people, but that's the thing about casual transphobia; It doesn't need to have true hate behind it to be real and harmful.
I had found the Yin to my Yang and my ultimate BFF. We both went into our own directions but kept in contact and then I received the call. Eddie called me to inform me he was not gay. I remember thinking that this was a lost Queen and there was no way that he was straight.
The opponents once again claimed it was the "bathroom bill" and were successful in creating enough fear in the citizens to be afraid of those of us who are transgender. Yes, Houston, we have a problem!
The next time a law like Houston's comes up -- and it will come up -- we owe transgender people better than tacit agreement. We owe the truth. It may not fix the problem, it may not ensure protection, but it's a lot better than staying silent.
Not only does this put into the minds of Americans that transition is something external that is forced, but it also paints us as villains in a time where over 20 trans women have been killed this year.
I want to live in a society which values each human being and which is ruled by love and empathy instead of hatred and cruelty.
The extreme vulnerability of transgender children and youth in foster care, and the specific harms they suffer when their caregivers ignore, denigrate or deny their gender identity is a serious public health problem.
A young girl wonders through her home, searching. She knows that it's here, somewhere. Walking into her parent's bedroom she sees it, shining, luminescent among the common cloth found in most closets. But this blue dress was special.
Under the guise of protecting women and girls from a danger that does not exist, transgender teens are given an extraordinarily clear message: In the eyes of their community, their lives are not valuable.
A majority of Houston voters have expressed their willingness to discriminate against trans identified persons and most of the rest of us. They do not represent the majority of Houston residents. The voters had their turn. Now we must each find a way to express our unwillingness to join them.
A question I get asked a lot is if Dana gets upset if someone slips and makes a mistake when addressing her. Does she get upset if someone accidentally calls her Rick rather than Dana or uses he or him instead of she or her?
LGBT and progressive groups from around the nation outspent the opposition and brought in political leaders and celebrities in support of the ordinance. But it was the conservatives, armed with their hard-hitting "bathroom campaign" and religious liberty rhetoric who resonated with voters.
Bathrooms are important. We all need them, and perhaps that is part of the reason bathrooms become central in conservative Christian challenges to civil rights around issues of gender. Bathrooms level the playing field. As my mother used to say, "Everybody has to go."
There are four ways to change the legal framework that transgender people live under: legislation, ballots, case law, and policy changes. The sooner we stop wasting our time tilting at legislative and ballot windmills, the better.
This is by no means a complete list. Most transgender deaths are unreported or lost due to misgendering.