Trans Bonanza in Salt Lake City

A lot of transgender amazingness has been happening in Salt Lake City within the grand GOP state of Utah. Just last night I went to Trans Action's "Open Mic". Prior to that I sat on a panel with other trans people. And prior to that I watched a film down at the library with some other trans panelists. And prior to that I attended a trans chili cook- off. In other words, I'm really getting a lot of trans exposure.

It's wonderful, really. First, those ordinances passed protecting LGBT individuals from workplace and home discrimination. Throughout there have been little bits of media coverage pertaining to Transgender Awareness Month, especially last Monday when Rosemary Winters published Transgender community pushes for acceptance, awareness in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Some of the reader comments on the site are really empathetic and supportive, while others are less so. For instance, one transphobic reader commented:
"As long as IT is cornfused about or has a overwheling fetish to dress like a woman. Then what do they exopect from society? Get a heartwarming welcome from NORMAL American folks? Sort of like we call a SHE a HE just because they FEEL like a male (Chasity Bono). Vagina or no vagina, this girl is stil a girl. Albeit a damn ugly one."

Hate is an unfortunate thing. Emily, a transgender woman, put it well when she wrote,
"Transphobia doesn’t work on the level of literal sense, instead it proceeds along a path mapped out long before, relying more on a cis common sense of how things “should be” (and therefore are) than on any real knowledge of trans lives." 
"Cis", by the way, is a shortened version of "cisgender", which Wikipedia defines as,
"Cisgender is a "newer term" that means "someone who is comfortable in the gender they were assigned at birth. "Cisgender" is used to contrast "transgender" on the gender spectrum."
Back to my more uplifting content - just yesterday, November 17th, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker signed into law the recently approved Fair Workplace and Housing ordinances. As Eric Ethington (a local blogger) puts it:
"San Francisco signed Fair Workplace and Housing laws into effect with Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone in 1969, now 40 years later Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker signs his name to the list of champions of human rights."
This past month I've struggled more so than usual with feeling insecure and hopeless internally, so it helps to focus on the positive change that's happening for trans people - even here in Utah. Increasing awareness, acceptance. Protections and hope for a future with equal civil rights.

And this kind of stuff helps, too:

So cute.


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