Move over, Maura. Make room for Ben and his transgender parent, Carly.

ABC Family Orders Reality Series My Transparent Life

BY Dawn Ennis

December 14 2014 5:48 PM ET

The success of Transparent, Amazon’s award-nominated series about the lives of a middle-aged transgender woman and her grown children, seems to have piqued Hollywood’s interest in new TV shows offering viewers a look at what it’s like to be trans.

ABC Family, the Disney-owned cable TV network famous for its “25 Days of Christmas” movie marathon and tween dramas like Switched at Birth as well as LGBT-inclusive shows The Fosters and Pretty Little Liars, announced it is adding a new reality series about a teenage boy whose parents are divorcing, because his dad is transitioning from male to female.

The series is called My Transparent Life, which Variety noted “sounds like an unscripted counterpart to the Amazon comedy.” The new series won’t be the first time ABC Family viewers have seen a trans character, as nonbinary actor Tom Phelan has a recurring role as young trans man attempting to navigate the foster care system on The Fosters. 

ABC Family named Ryan Seacrest Productions — maker of E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians — as the producer of the unscripted documentary series. Variety reported that Seacrest, Eugene Young, Rabih Gholam, George Moll, and Paul Barosse are executive producers for RSP.

“At RSP, we love family stories, and we couldn’t be more excited that ABC Family is helping us share this heartwarming story of how an ordinary teenager grapples with a challenging and unexpected family situation,” Seacrest told Variety. “We feel audiences will find Ben’s story relatable on a number of different levels, because at the end of the day, family is family unconditionally.”

The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story last week, said My Transparent Life will “intimately follow Ben, his family and friends as they support each other through the unexpected journey and watch [his parent] Charlie slowly become Carly, as she experiences the many stages of transition from male to female.” The report went on to describe the series as “a generational story of a loving family and circle of friends, supporting each other through the unfamiliar and unexpected situation.”

According to Variety, transgender stories and characters are becoming more palatable in mainstream entertainment, as evidenced by the multiple Golden Globe nominations for Transparent and its star, Jeffrey Tambor, as well as three nominations for the Writers Guild award for the Amazon comedy’s writing staff.

Of course, Transparent has its basis in reality as well; creator Jill Soloway based the show, in part, on her own life story after her father announced a gender transition. Soloway told Rolling Stone earlier this year she was motivated to “make something that would make the world safer for my parent.”

Conservative news website NewsBusters called the announcement of My Transparent Life “amazing,” given the network’s roots: “Pat Robertson sold his Family Channel to Fox in 1997, and Disney acquired it in 2001. Now Disney is taking it in an entirely different direction. In 2011, [GLAAD] announced that ABC Family was the most pro-gay network of the ten networks it reported on.”

ABC Family president Tom Ascheim told Variety, “We are so proud to partner with Ryan Seacrest Productions to share Ben’s incredible real-life story. While Ben’s family situation is unusual, the themes and coming-of-age issues are universal, and we think our viewers will find a real connection to them.”

“Trans visibility on TV is at an all-time high,” notes the Washington Blade, given the success of shows such as Amazon’s Transparent, and Netflix’s Orange is The New Black starring Laverne Cox. She was the first transgender actor to receive an Emmy nomination for her performance on OITNB.

Cox also recently teamed up with Viacom-owned MTV and Logo to air a documentary about seven young trans people called Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word.

And according to The Hollywood Reporter, more shows are in the pipeline: VH1, another Viacom cable network that has largely abandoned music for original programming, has enlisted America’s Top Model diva Tyra Banks to produce a transgender docu-series chronicling the lives of eight “transgender millennial women,” called TransAmerica.

As The Advocate has reported, HBO has teamed-up with Girls executive producer Lena Dunham for a documentary about the trans clients of a tailor specializing in attire for gender-nonconforming people in Brooklyn, New York.

Wait, there’s even more: Sunday night, Univision and the Pivot network will present Crossing Over: Stories of Immigration and Identity. The story profiles three Mexican trans women seeking asylum in Los Angeles. The documentary will air in Spanish on Univision and in English on Pivot. It’s the latest to be hosted by America Ferrera, best known as the title character in Ugly Betty, the 2007 ABC series which featured a groundbreaking transgender character, Alexis Meade.

If all these programs do indeed get off the ground and into living rooms, mainstream American TV will have transitioned from having zero shows about transgender people to seven — in just under three years.

Advocates for transgender military service are expectant that changes are coming

Despite Administration Silence, Advocates Expect Movement On Transgender Military Service

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “needs to order the review” of current regulations barring trans service, a prominent advocate says. Administration officials, for the most part, are staying silent on the issue.

posted on  Dec. 15, 2014, at 4:00 p.m.

 

                 BuzzFeed News Reporter

WASHINGTON — Advocates for transgender military service are expectant that changes are coming to the military regulations that bar all transgender people from enlisting or, under individual service branch policies, continuing to serve if they come out as trans.

If people at the White House or Pentagon have any such plan in the works, however, almost everyone is staying quiet for now.

But, Allyson Robinson, a former Army captain and one of the country’s leading transgender advocates, is optimistic.

Talking about the policies this past week, Robinson was excited by comments from Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James earlier in the week supporting a review of the current policies barring trans service.

“She just adds her voice to that of her boss, [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel, and her boss’s boss, the president, in saying that it’s past time to take a look at these obsolete, out-of-date policies,” said Robinson, the policy director for SPARTA — an LGBT service members and veterans group.

Unlike the fight over out gay, lesbian, and bisexual service, the ban on trans service is not a law. There is no repeal of a trans “don’t ask, don’t tell” required — the military could begin changing the policy, or at least reviewing it, immediately if it wanted to do so.

“We have their commitment to do that — we have the commitment of Secretary Hagel himself to review these policies. And, I should add, I am aware, from my conversations with leaders at the Pentagon, that the secretary views this, views those words, as a promise, as a commitment to the service members,” Robinson, who is also consulting for the Human Rights Campaign on trans service issues, said.

“I would be shocked if Secretary Hagel doesn’t take just a moment in the weeks that he has left in office to make good on a promise that he made to the troops. He needs to order the review,” she said. Hagel has announced his resignation, subject to the confirmation of the person Obama nominated to replace him, Ashton Carter.

Despite Robinson’s optimism, though, officials, by and large, aren’t willing to get into specifics of what — if anything — is going on to look at the issue.

Asked whether the president has ordered the Pentagon to initiate a review of the policies or ordered a change in relevant regulations barring trans service, a White House spokesperson said, “The president has not expressed a view on this issue. I would point you to the Department of Defense.”

The Department of Defense was more direct. Pentagon spokesperson Nate Christensen told BuzzFeed News, “I can confirm that for you that no review of the department’s policy has been ordered,” and pointed to noncommittal comments from Defense Secretary Hagel in May as his “most recent comments” on the issue.

Kristin Beck, the former Navy SEAL who came out as trans and has been advocating for out trans service, told BuzzFeed News that she expects action by the Army on the issue in short order. When asked about the Army’s policy, however, Army Public Affairs Specialist Tatjana Christian responded simply, “The Army policy has not changed.”

Beck, who was the focus of a documentary, Lady Valor, that debuted on CNN this year and is working with the recently formed Military Freedom Coalition on trans service issues, said that her sources expect an announcement regarding regulatory restrictions on trans service from the Army as soon as this week — a move that she said would be “a huge step in the right direction.” Christian, though, did not respond to a follow-up question asking whether any forthcoming changes are expected.

An Air Force spokesperson also did not respond to a message seeking comment about whether any changes were afoot regarding trans service regulations within that service branch.

And yet, Robinson, Beck, and others say they believe policy changes are coming.

Beck told BuzzFeed News she met with a senior Pentagon official in late October; the official was receptive to her arguments regarding trans service, Beck said, and told her that she could leave the meeting assured that the Pentagon is “listening” to her and other advocates’ concerns.

“Not only do I think it’s possible,” Robinson said of a review like that undertaken before “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, “I think that this period of Secretary Hagel — sort of, lame-duck period — represents that best opportunity that we’ve had so far to get it done,” noting that former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took action on same-sex partner benefits and the combat exclusion for women in “the waning days” of his time.

“He did that, I think primarily, because he felt it was his responsibility to take care of his troops,” she said. “He also did it out of a sense of collegiality to the person who was going to follow him. He took, what were seen by some as difficult or contentious issues, and took them off the table so that his successor would be able to start with a clean slate.”

At a recent forum held by the Victory Fund Institute, the head of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, said that she expected out trans service to be a reality within a few years.

In the past three years, several key federal actions to bar anti-transgender discrimination have taken place within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; in the Justice, Education, and Labor Departments; and — in two separate executive orders signed this summer — from President Obama.

The policy changes have accompanied significant public, cultural shifts, as well. Public figures like actress Laverne Cox and activist Janet Mock have increased awareness of trans issues dramatically in the last few years.

The U.S. military has not changed, however; policies using medical terminology from decades past continue to govern the military’s treatment of trans service member and enlistees, denying them the ability to serve and mandating their discharge if found out.

In the Army’s “Standards of Medical Fitness,” for example, transgender service is dismissed as “render[ing] an individual administratively unfit” alongside “[p]ersonality, psychosexual conditions, transsexual, gender identity, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, other paraphilias, or factitious disorders; disorders of impulse control not elsewhere classified.”

Specifically, transgender or intersex people are defined as being subject to such an administrative dismissal whenever the relevant service member exhibits “[a] history of, or current manifestations of … transsexual, gender identity disorder to include major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia such as change of sex or a current attempt to change sex, hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, or pure gonadal dysgenesis or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions.”

What’s more, the Palm Center — a think tank that did some of the key academic research preceding the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” — has undertaken extensive research into the military’s transgender policies. The group argued in a recent paper that a summer change from the Pentagon means that outdated branch regulations need to be reviewed and updated.

This August, the Pentagon “eliminated its default lists of medically disqualifying and administratively disqualifying conditions,” the Palm Center’s Diane Mazur explained in the group’s November report. The now-withdrawn list of “administratively disqualifying conditions,” known as Enclosure 5, required separation without exception and without any individualized assessment — a list that included transgender identity. Withdrawing the list, Mazur argued in the report, “suggests that the categorical retention prohibitions” on trans service in individual service branch’s policies “are too sweeping” and must be revised.

The Pentagon spokesperson, Christensen, told the Army Times, however, that the change and withdrawal of Enclosure 5 “does not change or have any effect on the department’s policy regarding separations and consequently does not affect the department’s policy regarding military service by transgender individuals.”

The Palm Center’s director, Aaron Belkin, told BuzzFeed News that more leadership is needed from the president on the issue — writing that “any change,” historically, would have to come from the White House.

But others, like Robinson, are focused on pressing the Pentagon leadership. She said that “a department-level update to these policies” is “the only viable way” of addressing the issue. Moreover, Robinson said that it would be preferable for the Pentagon, and not the White House, to take the lead on the issue.

While advocates debate where to exert pressure, Pentagon and administration officials have not publicly defended the bans on trans service. In May, Hagel said the policy “continually should be reviewed,” and that he was “open” to a change. The White House, vaguely, backed Hagel’s comments, with then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney saying that “certainly we support his efforts in this area.”

The Washington Blade, meanwhile, reported last year that the out gay Undersecretary of the Air Force, Eric Fanning, supported out trans service, and, on Thursday, Fanning’s boss, Secretary James, was the first service branch secretary to back a review of the policies, adding that “anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.”

But little has happened — at least, in public — in terms of any policy review, let alone changes. Even small steps appear to be incidental and not, at least formally, representative of any department-wide change.

When the Army, for example, granted two trans veterans’ requests to alter their names on their respective DD Form 214 separation documents, a Pentagon spokesperson quickly responded to tell BuzzFeed News that the decision to do so — a request historically rejected by the branches, which cited that the form is a “historical document” and not subject to change ordinarily — was not a military-wide decision: “There has been no change to the [department] policy on this.”

When it comes to current service, let alone enlistment, the official word is even less forthcoming: No government officials are saying that changes are being looked at, let alone implemented.

On an individual level, though, advocates insist that change is already happening.

“There is an Army person, who is transgender — male-to-female, just like myself — who, like eight months ago, maybe almost a year ago — I helped them write a memo … to their commander, and they’ve been kept,” Beck said. “So, they’ve been kept for almost a year, and the commander’s been kind of putting his neck out quite far to keep this person in the unit.”

Robinson echoed that sentiment. “We know that most of the services are taking some kind of action at some level to protect their transgender service members.”

Asked to clarify, she said, “I’m not going to go into specifics, because the potential sort of negative impact on our transgender service members whose careers are kind of hanging in the balance on all of this, but I think it’s happening because commanders at all levels are finding themselves stymied by trying to apply 1970s policy in 2014.”

Pressed whether she was describing individual commanders’ decisions or whether this included higher-ranking officials, Robinson reiterated her “commanders at all levels” language, and said she would leave it at that — optimistically so.

Happy patient talks about anonymous sponsor and does video on her transition (special).

December 7, 2014

One of our patients is a “stand up” entertainer and you’ll sense that right away when you see this video.  She yearns to be back on the mike every other night.  The cue cards are just a prop.   avonglade@yahoo.com

Then she surprised me today with a documentary video produced by her friend.  You’ll see a wrought iron gate to a public park and it is opened for her.  Her walking to the ocean  is a metaphor for deliverance.

You’ll even see me briefly at the office, with some flowers her friend brought for her.  Normally I don’t walk that fast unless I have to get to the bathroom right away.  Maybe he did a fast forward Chaplinesque on me.

She also is a very talented guitarist  http://vimeo.com/113571158

 

Harold M. Reed, M.D. FICS
Senior Member of the American Urological Association
Member Society of Genito-Urinary Reconstructive Surgeons
Founding Member and Treasurer of American Academy of Phalloplasty Surgeons
Founding Member Sexual Society of North America

305-865-2000

 

 

Hormones for MTF patients over 55

November 30, 2014

This topic caught my eye, as I am still taking 2 mg of progynova daily (though I have been known to skip a month with no noticeably untoward effects). Here in Bangkok, no prescription is needed.
I haven’t seen a doctor in the past 5+ years I have been here, but I am planning to get a thorough checkup after year’s end as my insurance, Kentucky State Employees, will use BCBS as their administrator for the coming years and they have an international network (including the major private hospitals here in Bangkok as well as a couple of private medical clinics). And I can use my HSA card to get reimbursed for some things (I upgraded my plan to a somewhat more expensive one because of the new network, with a higher HSA amount, lower deductible and out of pocket maximum, and lower co-pays). I will ask the doctors then? Are there any particular hormone screenings one should ask for?I’ve not experienced any negative symptoms from the hormones thus far, however, though I deliberately opted not to use Premarin in past.
Grace

 

Hi Grace,

Female hormones for a woman over 55 is a controversial subject, but best addressed by an endocrinologist  who may take into consideration many factors, your family history, your cardiovascular status, lipid profile, your physiologic age, obesity, and smoking history.  Of course you should have a serum estradiol in the morning without taking Progynova (oral estrogen) until the test is drawn, liver enzymes, and if over 40 perhaps a PSA, also mammogram yearly, stool for occult blood, carcinoembryonic antigen a marker for colon cancer, maybe a colonoscopy.    Ask your endo about a baby ASA daily.

Happy day after Thanksgiving, hope you did something special.

Harold M. Reed

Florida Congresswoman shares her support for her transgender son

Human Rights Campaign

November 19, 2014 by Hayley Miller, Digital Media Associate

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.. (Handout via Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.. (Handout via Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen)

In an interview earlier this week, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s shared her support for her transgender son.  Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) told WFOR, “As parents, we wanted to make sure that Rigo understood that we’re totally fine with it and that we wanted to make sure that he was safe.”

Rodrigo, 28, also sat down with his mother for his first television interview.

“I think coming out as transgender is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known,” he told WFOR. “And now you are sharing that honesty with other people for the first time.”

Ros-Lehtinen is not only an LGBT advocate for her family, but for her constituents as well. She received a 100 on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 113th Congress.

Coming out — whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or allied — is a deeply personal journey. As a parent of an openly trans child, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has embraced this journey and is sharing her lesson with others.

“Love your child because that person is your child whether it’s the person you wanted him or her to be or not,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “That’s my advice to parents, never, never reject your child. That’s unconditional love no matter what.”

Whether it’s for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion — from fear to euphoria. Learn more at HRC’s Coming Out Center.

WATCH: Trans FDNY Firefighter speaks on msnbc.com

WATCH: Brooke Guinan, Trans FDNY Firefighter, Gets Real About Employment Discrimination

In a recent interview with MSNBC, the face of V.O.I.C.E.’s viral ‘So Trans, So What?’ campaign discusses trans people’s external and internal barriers to getting jobs.

BY Mitch Kellaway

November 01 2014 1:36 PM ET

FDNY firefighter Brooke Guinan

After a poster of her standing proudly in a t-shirt reading “So Trans, So What?” went viral, transgender New York firefighter Brooke Guinan has quickly become an articulate commentator about the employment barriers trans people face.

In an MSNBC interview on Friday, the 27-year-old advocate spoke with The Reid Report‘s Joy-Ann Reid not only about the staggering rates of unemployment among the U.S. trans population, but of the particular barriers LGBT people face when considering “traditionally straight, male field[s]” like firefighting.

“Finding a sense of stability in your life as a trans person — as a trans woman — is often very difficult with a lot of the stigmas that you face in society,” she explains in the video below. “That certainly wasn’t lessened any by working in a male-dominated environment.”

Guinan went on to point out that women make up “barely half of one percent” of New York’s 10,200-strong firefighting force, saying, “I think that has less to do with women and their ability to do this job, and it has more to do with society’s attitude [toward] firefighters and who should be firefighters.”

“That’s intimidating to a lot of women and a lot of LGBTQ-identified people,” Guinan continued. “So I think a lot of times you discount yourself from things simply because the world around you gives off this impression you internalize that says, ‘I can’t do that.’”

Watch the video below to learn more about  and how “role model for my life” Laverne Cox has influenced Guinan’s thoughts on trans equality, and why now is the time to have these conversations.

In the Galleries: A.B. Miner

In the Galleries: A.B. Miner

Miner, a gay trans man, deals with diverse masculinities in his art. Topics range from bodily shame to back hair portraits to a comparative study of animal penises.

BY Christopher Harrity

November 14 2014 5:00 AM ET

A.B. Miner’s paintings and drawings take things that are usually hidden from public view and make them  “bring to light.” Some of the works now at Gallery Kayafas employ self-portraiture to spark dialogue over the gendered body. The self-portraits are intimate in scale and content, they are conceptually and emotionally charged, and they expose vulnerability by revealing what he (and many people) hide from the outside world — inner turmoil and body irregularities.

Miner, a trans man, is frustrated with contemporary Western society’s binary views of gender based on “average” male and “average” female bodies, leading him to research how masculinity manifests in other species. Before his move to Boston, Miner discovered and photographed an undocumented, offsite collection of the National Museum of Natural History, simply labeled “Smithsonian Institution Penis Collection.” Two series evolved from Miner’s research in these natural history museum collections.

Miner is now the assistant curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

A.B. Miner: “Bringing to Light” Gallery Kayafas Through November 29, 2014 450 Harrison Avenue #37 Boston, MA 02118

 

 

Downs and Up diptych, panels 8″ h x 16″ w, oil on gessobord, 2013

 

His (2), 20″ h x 16″ w, oil on gessobord, 2014

 

Singing Silence (Mystery I – IV), oil on linen on wood, 8.5″ w x 11″ h, 2014 (frames with translucent plexi are part of work)

 

What It’s Like to Be Transgender in Cuba

The Photo Blog
May 28 2014 11:47 AM
 
        By David Rosenberg
Two Women at the Las Vegas Club
Laura and Lady at the Las Vegas Club, Havana, Cuba.

Mariette Pathy Allen

This post contains nudity.

Mariette Pathy Allen has been an advocate and documentarian of the transgender community for more than 35 years. While much of her work has focused on the United States, in 2012, Allen traveled to Cuba with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health for a symposium about transgender identity and culture organized by Mariela Castro Espin, director of the Cuban National Center of Sex Education in Havana, and the daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro.

“I had a rare privilege of going wherever they were going, just visiting and wandering” Allen said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever walked so much in my life! It was wonderful.”

Malu with her parents and sister, in front of their home
Malu with her parents and sister, in front of their home.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Laura at home, Havana
Laura at home, Havana.

Mariette Pathy Allen

1
Charito at home with one-week-old piglet, Camagüey.

 

Allen brought along her camera during their adventures and said at the time she wasn’t thinking about turning the work into a bigger project. But later that year she went to Fotofest in Houston where she showed the work and was energized by a lot of positive feedback. She was selected as one of the Discoveries of the Meeting Place at the festival, and Michael Itkoff of Daylight Books proposed that she return to Cuba to create more work and publish a book.

Inspired and also pressed for a scheduled 2014 publishing date, Allen made three trips to Cuba in 2013. She spent time with the friends she had made on her first trip and was introduced to more people in the trans community both in Havana and elsewhere, thus giving the title of the book, TransCuba, a dual meaning.

Allen was struck by the extreme poverty in which many of the people she met lived. She said that although Castro Espin has been a champion of the transgender community, and that trans people may now legally change their gender, they are still discriminated against in the workforce, and many end up working as prostitutes.

“You can kind of measure how a country is changing by the way the people who are sexual and gender minorities are treated,” Allen said. “They’ve never had a champion like Castro before and she has been working nonstop to improve their lives.”

Sissi, hairdresser, with her niece, Cienfuegos
Sissi, hairdresser, with her niece, Cienfuegos.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Paloma with her boyfriend at Mi Cayito beach, near Havana
Paloma with her boyfriend at Mi Cayito beach, near Havana.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Alsola, Santiago de Cuba
Alsola, Santiago de Cuba.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Throughout her trips, Allen for the most part hung out with her friends both in their homes and on the beach, met their families and went out with them at night.

“I found it very easy to develop a rapport with them,” she said. “They knew right away I was on their side.”

She also decided to interview the people she photographed and included the transcripts in TransCuba in both English and Spanish.

“I always feel it’s only fair and right and interesting to give a voice to the people I photograph,” she said.

transcuba2
Drying eyelashes, backstage at the National Theater, Havana.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Erika at home, Cienfuegos
Erika at home, Cienfuegos.

Mariette Pathy Allen

Nomi and Miguel, partners, watching television at Malu’s apartment, Havana
Nomi and Miguel, partners, watching television at Malu’s apartment, Havana.

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Human Rights Campaign

 

 

Commemorating TDOR in Alabama

November 12, 2014 by HRC staff

 

Post submitted by HRC Alabama Field Organizer Tori Sisson 

On November 20, HRC will honor Transgender Day of Remembrance, an opportunity for communities to come together and remember transgender people, gender-variant individuals — and those perceived to be transgender — who have been murdered because of hate. In the lead-up, HRC is proud to present a blog series featuring a few of the many powerful voices of the trans community.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20 each year. The purpose of this day is to pay homage to and share memories of those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the acts of violence and aggression suffered by the transgender community.

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts, founded the Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1998.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bias and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.

This year, I am not only a participant of TDOR, but I am part of the planning process. At HRC Alabama, we will work for all members of the LGBT community. Our lives are important. We matter.

We will not stop until equality is reached for everyone, everywhere

To find an event near you, visit www.hrc.org/tdor 

Must Watch: An 8-Year-Old’s Powerful Rap About Being Transgender

Watch: An 8-Year-Old’s Powerful Rap About Being Transgender

by         77 Reactions 1.7K Shares

 

 


 

Coming out as transgender is not easy — especially when you’re still in elementary school. But one boy is hoping his experience will make the process easier for others. During his Summer stay at Camp Aranu’tiq, a camp for transgender and gender-variant youth, 8-year-old Alex shared his coming-out story in the form of a rap. Standing tall and smiling for his audience, Alex recounted the day when he told his mother that he identified as a boy and not a girl. He was worried that his mother would be sad, but when he saw her smile, he knew everything would be OK. But more important than Alex’s personal story was his message of spreading respect, acceptance, and love to everyone. Watch his heartwarming performance above, and try not to shed a tear.

 

“So I had a little story I’d like to share / about something I went through that might seem pretty weird / Please try and imagine if this was you / or you might have something that you can relate it to / So I was just a little kid about 7 or 8 / and I had something to say that could no longer wait / So I went to my mom that hot day in July / with a hope in my heart and a tear in my eye / Basically I said this girl is your son / and I’ve always felt this way and it hasn’t been fun / We sat there together for a little while / I thought she was sad but then I saw her smile / She told me I was brave and that she was so proud / that I came to her so she could help me sort things out. My family and friends / were also on board / and the support that I got / just had me floored / And from that day on / I started my path / and we worked together / and even faced some wrath / Together we can weather / whatever this life brings / and we’ll continue to love / and I’ll continue to sing / And I know that there are other kids / who feel like I do / and I truly understand / what they are going through / Thank you all for sitting here / and taking the time / to let me tell my message / in the form of a rhyme / Please treat everyone / the way you expect / we all deserve freedom, love and respect”