Magazine article Variety

Nation Needs to Improve Treatment of Trans People

Magazine article Variety

Nation Needs to Improve Treatment of Trans People

Article excerpt

Our Lady J

What was life like growing up?

I come from a town of 200 people in southern central Pennsylvania. Most of the town is Mennonite and Amish. My family is a very conservative Christian family. So they didn't really have the tools to support me when I came out as queer 20 years ago. I am very happy to say they support me now. They actually just joined (support group) PFLAG last month. Growing up not having (anyone) in the media to identify with, 1 did feel very lost, and that led to difficulty focusing in school; it led to being bullied at school, which definitely affected my self-esteem and my ambition and my drive. Thins discrimination infiltrates and permeates every aspect of our being from a very young age.

How is America doing?

In general, we're not doing so well. We're doing better, but I don't want to incite laziness by saying that. I want to inspire action; 28% of trans women are infected with HIV, which is staggering. One out of every two people attempt suicide in the trans community, which is also staggering. One out of five of us experiences homelessness, and one out of five are denied housing. And unemployment is two times greater than in the general population. …

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