Transgender, What’s the Big Deal?  I’ll Tell You

By Rita Renner, guest contributor

I am transgender, male to female and have been post-operative for many years.  It’s important that we say “transgender” and not “transgendered.”  You wouldn’t say “gayed”, so it’s definitely “transgender.”  People act like being transgender is a momentous invention but it’s not really.  And a word about our MTF transgender friends- we love the feminine pronouns so she, and her are in order unless otherwise preferred.

Rita Renner

“Really, you’re post-op?  And on hormones and all that?” they exclaim.  Yes.  Surviving a pandemic and riots is a big deal but not for me being a post-op white MTF.

Dominique Fells, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger and other transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are a big deal.  In 2019 these people were among the at least 26 violent deaths of our transgender and gender non-conforming brothers and sisters. That is a big deal.

(image courtesy of HRC website)

I have it easy but it’s not so for the majority of our transgender folks, especially transgender women of color.  The Human Rights Campaign  reports at least 14 transgender and gender non-conforming murders in 2020 and we’re not halfway done.  What can we do?  Don’t let our transgender sisters walk alone.  Protect them and travel in groups.

Oppression is a terrible word to exist in anyone’s vocabulary.   And it existed for me and a transgender girlfriend on a warm night in June in The Village.  We hailed a cab after dinner and the cab pulled over for us.  I reached for the door handle and the cab took off but not so fast that I couldn’t remember his hack number.  I called 311 and reported the incident to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.  Several official forms later I was scheduled for a hearing with the driver.   We all showed up and presented our stories before a judge.  It turned out that the cabbie had the upper hand as his records showed that he was off duty at the time that we hailed him.  Case closed.

In an aside later on, the judge told me that it happens when a driver’s records are changed, and she appreciated my situation as she was a black female. I did reach a certain level of satisfaction as the driver had to take time out of his day to appear and the judge’s comment made my day.

This was a minor inconvenience compared to what others have had to endure.  But it still stung and made me angry with the total unfairness of it all.  When will it stop and how will it stop?  Laws are enacted to enforce moral equality, but they affect the actions of the oppressor but not the mind.

Fight oppression and bigotry to the death but not yours.  You are too precious and are coveted.

 

Say their names

Dominique Rem’mie Fells, Riah Milton, Nina Pop,

Monika Diamond, Yampi Méndez Arocho,  Dustin Parker 

 

Lexi , Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez,

Layla Pelaez Sanchez, Tony McDade, Helle Jae O’Regan

 

Not pictured: Neulisa Luciano Ruiz aka Alexa, Penélope Díaz Ramírez 

(tribute via picuki.com   @tomusphere)

 

Previous Post by Rita Renner

“What It’s Like to Be Transgender in This City”

 

Links to Transgender Resources

National Center for Transgender Equality  

Transgender Law Center 

Sylvia Rivera Law Project 

Trans Women of Color Collective 

 

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