12/23/2014 10:31 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Trans Inclusive ENDA

Happy New Year! I can't believe it is 2015! I will be 61 years old next month. There was a time in my life where I never thought I would make it to 30.

In a recent post to my blog, "Trucker Patti," entitled "The Dark Times," I went to a very painful part of my past to share with my readers. This time in my life was something I had spent over 30 years trying to deal with.

First and foremost, I am a survivor. I would hope that those who know me personally, would tell you that I am a kind, compassionate and positive person. My reason for revisiting a painful time in my life that I have rarely shared was not for sympathy. The purpose was to reach out to others that may have had similar experiences; to show them there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The gist of the story, is that I have been raped twice. The first time was by law enforcement. A police sergeant abused his power to force me to have sex with him. The second time, I was badly beaten as well as raped. I had been knocked unconscious and woke up in the hospital. At first, hospital staff was kind and concerned, because they thought I was a biological woman. When they discovered I had a penis, all kindness and concern disappeared. I gave the police a detailed description of the man and where he hung out. They did nothing and a few days later, he killed one trans woman and a second only got away by jumping out a second floor window, breaking her leg in the process.

Life these days is getting better and better for the LGB part of our community and I, for one, could not be happier for them. In two thirds of this country, people can now marry those they love. The trans community is still desperately struggling.

The point of telling what happened to me 30 years ago is that while things have improved by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years for the LGB part of our community, the story of what happened to me is still happening to trans women in this country on a regular basis.

A trans inclusive ENDA is the first step to stop the violence against the trans community. So many trans people put themselves at risk for violence simply because it is the only way they can survive. They can't find safe housing and no one will give them a job, simply because of who they are.

Stop the violence. We need a trans inclusive ENDA now!