Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Transgender Day of Remembrance

jmu.edu

Scott Turner Schofield asks us if we want to hear a funny story. We as the audience are ready to listen to a story that is not only hilarious but eye opening. Scott discusses that he had to attend a debutante ball, but his friend requested that he would go the ball as a woman. Okay, I promise, this story gets funnier, but here’s some backstory: Scott is a transgender man, so being a woman is a ridiculous request. Scott appeased the request, because the friend’s grandmother was on oxygen and all of the people attending knew Scott as his past identity, a woman…. so yea, not trying to cause a stir. Scott only had one dress and it was leopard print, Scott claims he was never good at trying to be a woman. Then Scott went to CVS to get some make up and a woman approached him, said, “how can we help you son.”

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Scott then has to say he was a woman(well at least for the night) and the employee was very confused. Scott asked for help with the make up and then another employee came and both women helped Scott get ready for the ball. This happened in Greenville, South Carolina of all places; Scott tells us that if this kind of compassion can happen in Greenville it can happen anywhere.

This story highlights two different points: the trans* community goes through struggles we don’t even think about and we can also be allies. Within the LGBTQ+ community, a lot of focus has been put on the L&G, particularly marriage equality. Though I am proud of the progression, often the T is pushed to the waste side. We don’t spend enough time thinking about all the transgender lives we lose yearly due to ignorance. One way to tackle this ignorance is by educating the masses on how to interact with the trans* community. Scott provides us with some helpful tips!

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Questions Not to Ask

What is your real name? Just don’t please.

What are you legally? Its wrong to think of someone in legal terms.

Did you get the surgery? There is more than one surgery and also we often equate getting surgery to officially being the gender we want, we don’t need surgery to make that happen.

Are you sure you’re in the right bathroom? Let people pee in peace, they know what they’re doing.

Education & Advocacy

Read more, listen to more ted talks, do more research. Scott suggests reading Transgender Warriors and Stone Butch Blues.

The advocacy part comes in by first asking what pronouns people prefer and start making that a regular talking piece in your lexicon. Also if people around you are speaking about a trans* person and are using the wrong pronouns, politely correct them. Simple steps like this can make a huge difference. If we start advocating and start educating ourselves and others, ignorance can turn into understanding into acceptance. Acceptance can lower the amount of hate crimes towards the trans* community, but it starts with us.

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