[Image: Screenshot of the Transgender Today section of the New York Times, featuring images of and quotes from many people, with the headline Transgender Lives: Your Stories]
Last week I participated on two panels of trans and non-binary people, educating graduate therapy students in the San Francisco Bay Area. These presentations were arranged and conducted by Sam Davis, a queer and trans psychotherapist. We were compensated for our time, and it was an empowering experience.
I hope to do more of this sort of work, as I become more comfortable speaking about these issues in public. Especially following my presentations at the Intersectional Justice Conference and the Bay Area WikiSalon, I’ve become increasingly aware of the importance of trans people telling our own stories, rather than letting the mainstream media shape our narratives.
While my public speaking experiences thus far have been positive, I realize that not all audiences will be receptive or respectful. A recent article by Kai Cheng Thom and Ivan Coyote illustrates some of the challenges faced by trans educators that cisgender people might be ignorant about. Safe travel is a particular concern of mine, due to the TSA screening process that penalizes “traveling while trans“, and the trans-antagonistic bathroom bills being proposed in many states.
Trans and non-binary people have always existed, and we are here to stay. Making more people aware of that fact through face-to-face meetings is a necessary component of trans liberation.