During the “coming-out” process, my University therapist warned me about taking safety precautions. Now I would be subject to the same pressures and threats that afflict all women in American culture. I started paying more attention to my surroundings. I asked others to accompany me to my car after dark. Not paranoid, just using some common sense.
Then I learned that some communities were noted for anti-LGBT activity. I heard other trans women complain about verbal harassment and assaults on the Minneapolis public transit system and I determined buses were an option of last resort. I became just a bit more paranoid.
Or is it paranoia? I’ve heard it said that at least 7 trans people in 2011 were murdered just because of gender identity. Washington, DC. police issued public warnings this summer after a spate of attacks, some fatal, attacking trans women.
In this culture war environment inflamed with false and hateful rhetoric about all LGBT people, I and every trans woman is taking a time out to consider just what we are doing. But we can’t do this alone. We need every L, G and B person to understand and appreciate who T people are and stand with us in solidarity. And then we need all sane and sober people around us, our families, our employers, our teachers and our fellow spiritual believers to do the same.
I know it’s asking a lot, but every person, including trans women and men, deserves a life reasonably free from the fear of murder only because they are different. It’s asking a lot, but it’s not asking too much.