Tolerance gets us very little. Respect is a good start. Love opens doors. Love transcends identity. When we can learn to truly love one another, not in spite of, but because of all of our differences, we will truly be on our way towards full equality.
One day I met a man who helped me redefine what my sexuality means to me. This guy, whom I will refer to as "James," was attractive: He had this way with words, and a smile that took my breath away. James happens to be transgender; he was assigned "female" at birth.
Last week we saw the Janet Mock/Piers Morgan saga degenerate into a situation where both protagonists ended up speaking past one another. Still, I believe that however difficult it has been for everyone involved, it is ultimately all for the good.
Transgender children across the nation have taught me that real change requires more than courage. It also requires action. Without action their courage often goes unnoticed.
I give the same answer to the countless cisgender teachers, administrators, parents, community members, etc. who have asked me, "How do we support trans students? What can I do to make schools better for them?" My advice always boils down to one message: Listen.
Hello! We are Liz and Scout, and we're excited to help announce the launch of HuffPost Gay Voices' new LGBT Wellness page, the destination to catch great blog posts and news about what wellness means to our communities.
"One, I don't think they knew it existed and, two, once they discovered it, they were fearful, naïve and unsure."
I'm optimistic that Cole will become a role model for other youth who may be fearful and have never seen anyone like themselves on the big/little screen. I know I would have wanted to see someone like Cole when I was 13-year-old and coming to terms with my own identity.
It can be easy to assume you know everything, and that because your heart's in the right place, you are protected from criticism. This isn't true though. As allies, we have to constantly be learning about what we're standing up for.
I am cisgender and identify as gay. These are not things that I chose. But I do choose to be an ally to my trans friends and colleagues because I want everyone I know to be treated as they want to be treated.
In the end, if Piers Morgan is truly the trans supporter he says he is, then what he thinks really shouldn't matter. Simply the fact that Janet Mock and other trans women were offended should be enough for Piers Morgan to apologize, learn from his mistake, and promise not to repeat it.
You can be a trans ally in a lot of different ways; there is no one, fool-proof guide. I spent some time researching and putting my own experiences as an ally down into a list of 'bare minimum' criteria.
The true aggression in these scenarios is the idea that trans women's bodies are public domain, or the simply nonsensical belief that no cis man would ever be attracted to a trans woman.
Two words: "men" and "ladies." When taken out of context, they're harmless. But when posted on the outside of a swinging door that might be used by someone who's transgender, they become catalysts for anxiety -- more so, it seems, for those who aren't transgender.
The major political issue for me is presenting ourselves as victims. Many of us are and have been victims, but the best way to gain allies, and to build support and empathy, seems to be by emphasizing our humanity, strength and resilience.
I was born to two educators, people who deeply believe in the responsibility and power of our schools to ready children for life. During their 60+ ...