So yesterday was Transgender Day of Remembrance and the JMU & Ally Education Program had a vigil to remember and honor the lives that have been lost. It was touching to see the candles slit in the room, but also sad to realize how many people die because of hate crimes towards gender identity each year. It reminds that even if each state allows same sex marriage, that the LGBTQ+ and our allies still have a lot of work to do.
I remember my first experience with someone who is Transgender. I dated her in high school before she had transitioned and even then, I knew that she was hiding a part of herself. I watched this person transition through high school and get taunted and teased. I really was disappointed with my fellow peers for bullying someone for having the courage to be exactly who they are. I saw so many people in my school who had fake personas just to climb up the social ladder, but not her. I admired her for the courage to say fuck it, my biological sex does not match my gender identity and I’m going to do something about it. In all honesty I’m pretty sure everyone was just jealous of how good she looked.
When I came to JMU, I felt a difference in the way people viewed the LGBT community. I would constantly here about students wanting to know more about what it meant to be Transgender. Even though JMU is leaps and bounds above my high school it doesn’t change the fact the T is often excluded whenever we are fighting for LGBT rights. During Ally week there was a tabling event and allies would write on a white board why they were an ally. A lot of the messages were love who you want and love is love, but those things just talk about sexual orientation and not gender identity. There was a speaker who came in the other night for Madison Equality, who is a religious woman who also supports the LGBT community, but a lot of her speech just focused on same sex relationships. I just feel there’s a lack of knowledge, but when people are being murdered for their gender identity, I feel as if we need to start learning something.
I think we are afraid. Our society has set this gender binary, and people who are Transgender, gender queer, two spirit, bi gender and etc., don’t fit that binary we set. And OH NO! WHAT WILL WE DO WITHOUT OUR BINARIES? Live and be better people. I like when people don’t fit into the boxed in labels that we have set, it’s just nice when people can feel comfortable in their own skin.
If you feel the same way I do, I encourage you to do more research. If you’re a student at JMU, come to the LGBT & Ally Education Program located in Montpelier Hall Room 560, we have plenty of resources! Come to Madison Equality meetings at 8 in Taylor 404 on Tuesdays to be more involved with the LGBT community. Lives could be saved if we start forming an alliance and we need all the people we can get within the community and the many allies who help us along the way.
Reasons Why Transgender People Rock!
1. They’re not afraid of being themselves.
2. They aint about those binaries.
3. Amongst all the violence they still fight for their rights. True Warriors.
4. They challenge the norms.
5. They have a whole set of different experiences that make them beautifully unique.