In the past year I've increasingly been made aware of the growing meaning the word "tranny" has taken on for members of the transgender community. For the most part I have gotten a pass because of what Trannyshack is, but still it nagged at me. What was really the catalyst for me deciding that I had to consider a change was when I came across a post on Facebook.
While the work of the LGBTQ movement is far from done, Pride Month is a great opportunity for the LGBTQ community to reflect on just how far we've come in a relatively short period of time.
The first problem is the assumption that sex is solely defined by penises and vaginas, ignoring the fact that one of the most important sexual organs is the brain.
Forty-five years ago, just after midnight on June 28, 1969, the NYPD conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn. Crowds of trans women, sex workers, and homeless youth were handcuffed and pushed into paddy wagons. And then a curious thing happened. The people in handcuffs began to fight back.
I would like to propose that when we see each other, when we greet each other, when we congratulate or debate each other, we do it all with great kindness; that no matter what we believe to be true or not true about words and the meanings behind them, we refuse to use any form of language that might be even remotely jarring to someone's spirit.
In February 2014 Queerty, the online magazine and newspaper focusing on gay topics, ran a piece titled "Seriously Sexy Trans Men Make Us Say 'Mmmm!'" What's interesting and horrid about the article? The comment section, which displayed the pervasive lack of understanding of transgender identities within the gay community.
When the hairstylist asked about my partner, I got to use female pronouns without feeling like I was breaking her trust in any way. I was strangely compelled to disclose my partner's transgender status, though. Why would I want to tack on some kind of modifier when identifying her as woman to a total stranger?
Certain ideas from the Bhagavad-Gita and the Bible are entirely consistent with one another: Holding them together deepens my understanding of both while correcting common misrepresentations of and misunderstandings within each.
As we pull ourselves back up and wipe off the loss, we are held up by those before us who took to the streets that fateful night at Stonewall and refused to remain victims. We are leap years closer to equal rights because of their brave sweat and tears and we carry on the fight in their honor.
The recent upsurge in persecution of LGBTI people across the globe has sent the number of refugee applications rising sharply. As long as the abuses continue, the numbers will surely escalate.
They tell me of being forced to sell their bodies, of being beaten and raped. They tell me of being cold and terrified, of feeling unloved and driven to the brink of suicide.
Her story starts in Colombia. As a trans woman, she was treated miserably. After a particularly brutal beating, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a pharmacist and scientist, and fled to Taipei, where she got a scholarship and began to live her life anew.
"Becoming homecoming king is kind of the only normal teenage dream I've had. I was really surprised, though, that I was nominated. I didn't think it was attainable, because I'm trans, but now I feel like I could get it."
I was offering a window into the lives of young people who happen to be African and gay in the midst of considerable hostility, but still managing to hang on to their identity.
It is time for the New York State Senate to do the right thing and stop transgender New Yorkers from being treated like second-class citizens. It is time for Gov. Cuomo to become an integral part of this historic moment in transgender rights and call for the Senate to bring GENDA to a vote. It is time for GENDA to become law.
The more I researched the status of LGBT rights in Russia, the more I came to the conclusion that I must keep my family history top-secret. I could not discuss transgender children or transgender rights without real risks. It seemed surreal to think that I might create a "situation" abroad.