By Eamon Incognito 42Fifty Staff Writer
International Transgender Day of Visibility was on March 31 this year. This day is dedicated to raising awareness of discrimination against and celebrating transgender lives.
Samson May is celebrated his gender identity on that date by “having a pride flag on face all day.”
Being transgender means feeling the sex they were born as does not match with who they are. Many trans* people undergo surgery and/or take hormones to appear on the outside as they feel on the inside, although not all do. Some are comfortable in their bodies and embrace who they are without it.
Many transgender people are scared to come out. Being transgender is widely frowned upon. And many trans* people are not accepted by their families and community.
An anonymous trans boy at our school advises to “not come out until you are sure you will be safe.”
The suicide rate for trans* individuals is extremely high. In the United States about 41% do attempt it in their lifetime, whereas 4.6% of the general public do.
Jaxon Ludvigson advises any closeted transgender people to “Hang in there until you can come out… because eventually it will get better and eventually you will be able to be who you want to be…”
Discrimination is a part of everyday life for transgender people. Samson says he “sees a lot.” Jaxon says he does see “slurs hurled at or [he’s] seen people get hit.” He goes on to say it’s normal bullying. Xzavier Widt says he sees hate everywhere he goes.
A common question asked to Transgender people is how does one know they are trans. It is honestly different for all people. Some know from the second they know what gender is, and some don’t until later in life. A lot of time people repress that part of themselves because society thinks it is “wrong.” Samson May says “don’t be scared. It’s yourself. Never be afraid of being yourself.”
All four of the trans boys suggest going to the school LGBT+ club, True Colors, as a place of support. They say in the club they feel accepted and safe. Ms. Disabato holds the club in her room (238) every other Thursday after school. To receive text alerts for True colors, text @tcolors17 to 81010. Samson suggests trying to seek counseling as well.
The easiest way to make a transgender person feel safe and accepted is to try to use their preferred pronouns and name. If someone you know tells you they are transgender, doing research and asking them personally how you can support them best is a good idea.
Every person is different and will be helped differently. If you don’t understand what it’s like, politely ask them to explain. Research words and topics to steer clear from in conversation. But most of all, keep an open mind. Even for people who are not trans* you never know what another person is going through.