Viktor isn't just a trans man, he's a trans gay male escort. It's a whole extra layer of stigma to deal with, and one that Viktor handles with aplomb.
When I tell you that my parents love me, I mean it's the kind of love that is impossible to quantify or measure in any sort of tangible way. My entire life, I have known this love. "We chose you, and we love you so much."
There was this moment yesterday, when Facebook turned into a sea of rainbows. When the White House turned the color of Pride. When the Gay Men's Chorus sang The National Anthem in front of the Supreme Court after the ruling and people around this country cheered and cried together.
It's been a weird couple of days. My 17 year old self would be so happy right now. After crying in a counselling office when Bush was re-elected and all of my Southern Californian classmates rejoiced, I would have lauded this day.
My heart is filled with joy. My heart is filled with pain. My heart is filled with purpose. My heart is filled with hope.
It is shameful and embarrassing when people who have acquired a position of power thanks to the activism of others (or even their own past activism) choose to criticize others who use the same tactics to fight for their rights or very existence.
Is this a thing that happens? Do people come out -- or come back out -- as cis? How do you celebrate that? Unbake a cake? Re-wrap the gifts? Or do you mourn it? Do you shake your head at the person you thought you knew before shuffling back to your respective safe spaces, crestfallen?
While President Obama claimed, "You're in my house," he seemed to be more comfortable with reading a speech about trans issues than listening to a trans women speak of her own issues.
There is no doubt in our minds that we would not be where we are today if so many organizations hadn't decided to put aside proprietary rules and treat each other not as competitors for donors, credit, or a scoop but rather as partners in a single mission--one that we could only win by working together.
Knowledge is a first step to understanding and understanding can be a step to acceptance. But those are very huge steps and they certainly haven't been taken yet. And until they are, there is much work to be done to serve the LGBTQ community.
Androgyny is not something often considered beautiful, so for Ruby Rose to redefine beauty and still have mass appeal is very exciting. But it does raise questions over why some gender non-conformity is celebrated while other forms are ridiculed or ignored.
I told them about how difficult and sad my life had been and how I had embarked on a spiritual journey to learn how to be happy. It was that journey that led to me peeling off the layers of fear and shame that had protected and cut me off from the world. Underneath, I discovered Abby.
The first time I wore women's clothes, I was in junior high in coastal Alabama. My school club was hosting a womanless beauty pageant to raise money and asked us boys to participate.
In a world that is saturated in patriarchy and gender based violence, imagine how powerful and life saving it would be if men, masculine presenting people and cis-gender identified people started standing up as allies too.
In his interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner confidently said, "We are going to change the world." Every brand, every business, every person should be thinking the same way.
If we look to her for a lesson in transgender identity, we may be left wanting. But if we scale back to put her unique story in its time and place and in a wide and rich history, some valuable things come into focus.