I can’t say I’ve ever been accused of such bigotry similar to my fellow West Chester University political science major Victoria Foley has been. But, rather than going into the details of why her op-ed was terribly incorrect, I will merely say that, “the experiences of actual transgender people matter more than your dogwhistles” and move on to telling you all about my college journey as a transgender person… alright, I’ll cut the format. West Chester University, let’s get serious.
I’ve been out as transgender since I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve been out for over one-fourth of my life. I identified as a transgender man for a number of years until quarantine, where I realized I am nonbinary. When I originally came out, I was ostracized by my own father. I, unlike so many people, had the opportunity to choose not to live there, rather than being forced to stay with him or being pushed out onto the street, an experience many of my fellow transgender students have had to go through.
Being conservative is not comparable to being transgender unless you are, perhaps, a part of both groups. Revealing oneself as conservative is not the same as coming out as transgender. Revealing oneself to be conservative has not gotten someone killed, whereas coming out as transgender has gotten people killed and will most likely continue to do so. At least 256 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been victims of fatal violence since 2013. Over two-thirds of victims are transgender women of color. Most victims killed were between the ages of 18 and 35. Conservatives do not see this level of violence and most likely never will. The only thing the identity labels of conservative and transgender share is that they both happen to be identities.
In conclusion, I hope this article helps those struggling out there: struggling either to understand how transgender people even exist or to come out as transgender. I know it’s hard, but that is how queer people move forward, how we will push our agenda. The Sexuality and Gender Alliance is a good club to make you feel at home here.
Transgender Lives Lost So Far in 2022
Matthew Angelo Spampinato
Kathryn “Katie” Newhouse
Kenyatta “Kesha” Webster
Nyred Jackson is a third-year Political Science major with a minor in Theatre Arts. TJ929913@wcupa.edu