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TRANSITIONS: Transgender Day of Remembrance

Hello, and welcome to a very special chapter of Transitions: Enlightened Conversations with our Trans Community.

Today we celebrate the end of Trans Awareness Week with Trans Day of Remembrance. This special day was created back in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in honor of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered in 1998. The purpose of this day is to honor the lives of those people of trans experience who were victims of violent attacks and lost their lives.

As a woman of trans experience, I've taken the decision upon myself to provide information and educate people about the struggles our community faces every day.

From false statements made by uninformed people who express concerns about us “indoctrinating children” (in particular “boys to become girls”), to the belief that trans kids do not belong in sports, and all other fallacies in between. These are statements that hit our community hard and promote violence against us based on fear of accepting something different or someone with a different mindset.

Some cisgender people believe they are not being transphobic when they share their opinion on the topic, usually because they feel it is their right. The truth is, while everyone is entitled to have an opinion on a topic, when that person goes out of their way to voice that opinion to a person that was not asking for their point of view, the line of respect is crossed and the opinions and comments become transphobic.

Regarding the so-called “indoctrination” topic, I will use my own life as an example. I was raised Catholic in a third-world country that is extremely conservative and religious. I was raised with the mentality that anything related to LGBTQIA2S+ was “wrong” and that whoever was part of the community was a sinner and would go to hell. I remember feeling different since I was 4. I was bullied for being too feminine. Because of all of these and my parent's mentality, I had to create an image of what a man was supposed to be, while feeling empty and depressed inside. After drug abuse during my teenage years, to divorces and having children, I decided to finally accept who I was and started my transition. Despite the hate I've faced, the so-called friends I've lost, and the family issues I’ve dealt with on a daily basis, I still feel happier now than I ever was before.

Transitioning saved my life.

I was “indoctrinated” into hating the LGBTQIA2S+ community, yet, I found my way into who I really am, and that's in part due to the same community I was taught to judge and see as wrong.

The truth is that we are just trying to live our lives, be happy and respected with equal rights, but people don’t see that. People see us as a threat and wrong because we “mutilate” our bodies to be something we’ll “never” really be. Yet, in many situations, they have mutilated their bodies themselves. For example, when they went ahead and got a nose job to feel better about themselves and fit into the “beauty” standards of society. However, that's always “different” or it doesn't apply.

People also go out of their way to say that we were born XX or XY and that's it, but science has disproven that XX and XY are the only chromosome combinations, and it doesn't define men and women anymore. (See sources below)

So why judge someone for their path? How is it disrespectful to you to be asked to address someone by their pronouns? Why feel offended when told that you are privileged?

The best way to define privileged is simple: if your rights have not been decided by someone else, then you are privileged.

So keep this in mind before judging someone for being trans or part of the LGBTQIA2s+ community, or you share your opinion on a topic and go out of your way to push your views on someone else's lives. Doing this spreads hate instead of love and acceptance.

With the current events happening in our country and the amount of legislation targeting the LGBTQIA2S+ community, particularly the trans community and trans youth, today we must honor those people that lost their lives to trans violence and we must stand against discrimination. We honor them by raising our fists and screaming “we are here to stay and our voices won't be silenced”.


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Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and policies of the Miami Beach Pride Organization. Content provided by writers and bloggers on this site are not meant to malign, offend or insult any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, anyone or anything.



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