Thursday, November 17, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

This is what I will be reading later tonight for a Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil at SUNY Albany. I don't know how much I will get to read, if it will be edited, or if I will even read it at all. But I want it to be somewhere. Therefore, I am putting it here and a few other places I know as my stomping grounds. Enjoi

Hi, if any of you didn't know, my name is Kristofer Tracey Stevens. Many of you, however know me by another name. Or, rather, have known me as a few other names. I'd prefer it if you all call me Amanda. I am a nerd. I play Magic the Gathering, read manga and comics, watch anime, and can recite lines from numerous Kevin Smith movies.

I have been pledging a fraternity for almost my entire academic career here at SUNY Albany. Or at the very least, that seems to be what I hear a lot. I didn't know or ever realized that trying to pass as best as I can as a normative female was part of the pledging process. I didn't know that I wasn't being hazed. I was convinced that I was just being me. But then again, I must be mistaken. After all, why else would anyone of male sex ever want to dress like a woman.

No one would willing go through the humiliation, the stares, the snickers, the pranks, and comments. I mean, who would want to walk know that walking from the mall to a friend's car can lead to people slowly driving behind you pointing and laughing and taking pictures? Or walk routes that have the least people on them so I don't feel their eyes? Is it assumed I enjoy feeling terrified every time I have to use the bathroom, which is frequent because I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis an inflammatory bowl disease.

In a lot of ways, the negatives outweigh the positives. The safety and security that just come from being male are greater than we ever notice. But, in the long term, I am certain that coming out as a male to female transsexual well give me a good pay out. Until then?

I will lean on the friends I have for support. I will take the small achievements of people using the proper pronouns as signs that times are either changing or I am passing. I will trudge through the ignorance and try to let it hurt a lil less each day. That is all. Good night and thanks for listening.

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