Are you white? Are you male? Are you straight? Do you identify as the gender on your birth certificate? If you answered yes to all these questions, congratulations, you’re doing great. You have your man in the White House and a Republican Party hell bent on destroying the rights and lives of everyone who couldn’t answer yes to all of these questions.
I mean, good grief! Where do I begin? First of all, your man, Trump, is a vapid Manchurian Candidate with no moral compass or ideas of his own. He’s the tragically non-fiction Twitter boss of a deeply divided nation lost in space to the FOX News network and right-wing hate tanks I once encountered as a, it pains me to say, lobbyist for industry in Washington, D.C.
I gave up a lucrative career on the dark side and the benefits of white, straight, male privilege to live authentically as a queer, transgender woman on the margins, barely making ends meet to spend the rest of my professional life caring for the sick. Perhaps this was my penance. It’s enough to make you go “WTF?”, Beverly, right? Right. You’d think I’d be freaking out over these choices, but to the contrary I’m at peace with who I am for the first time in my life.
When I “had it all” I was miserable, depressed and suicidal. I’ll never know the person on the other end of the phone the night I called the suicide prevention hot line number my therapist had given me, but she was an angel and said the right things that talked me off the proverbial ledge at that moment.
I never speak about my gender. I live a stealth life as the woman I was meant to be, but for a birth defect, as I refer to it. That means I pass as female, or at least think so, and don’t have to endure the hardships of some trans sisters. When I was tormented over coming out or not, at the depths of depression, the prospect of ridicule, rejection and the negative impact on my life had taken me to the brink.
The suicide rate among the estimated 1.4 million transgender people in the USA is more than 40 percent, affecting youth at an alarming rate. Violence against trans women, particularly trans women of color, is higher than any population subgroup in the USA. So, understand that being trans is not a choice. Who would choose such a life? While scientific research overwhelmingly supports a biological explanation for alternative gender identities, our government is denying the science for political expediency.
The government’s recent actions will only lead to more discrimination toward transgender citizens and feed a culture of hate already impacting people like me. The inexplicable onslaught against trans Americans has become relentless under Trump. Against advice from military leaders, the Trump government is kicking out over 14,000 trans members serving their country. The Health and Human Services Department has issued rules to allow providers to deny me health care or insurance, and transgender homeless people can be denied access to shelters.
The Democrat controlled House of Representatives passed the LGBT Anti-Discrimination Act on May 17 along party lines to protect us from Trump’s regime. The problem is that the bill will be dead on arrival in a Republican controlled Senate, so the law won’t see the light of day. All of this Orwellian nonsense only ratchets up anxiety levels among trans persons. Where’s the humanity in that? Are trans people less than human? What’s next? Concentration camps?
We won’t be erased.