The idea that transphobia is not alive in America today is sadly a very real thing. About a year ago, I wrote on that very subject in English, and it was around that time that I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to use my gift of writing to talk about transgender issues. I’m currently working on a novel about being transgender, but it’s a work in progress and I want to make sure I stay away from the tropes that are found in the very few books about being transgender. That’s another post for another day.
If you stay away from twitter, or you’re just a somewhat active user, you might not know about this. I logged onto twitter on Monday after seeing this post from Todd Kincannon claiming that transgender people deserve to be put in concentration camps. Yeah, like Hitler. I couldn’t believe it and thought maybe that someone had hacked his account or something, but this former South Carolinian GOP Executive Director really believes this. He had many transphobic comments and even said that if we couldn’t be put in camps that we deserve to be institutionalized.
Then there was the Pacific Justice Institute’s claim that a transgender woman was harrassing women in the bathrooms at school in Colorado. Several groups including TransAdvocate got to the bottom of it and found no such things. They called the school board and found that it was mostly some parents upset that their children had to deal with transgender students. PJI has been trying to use stories like this to try to get votes for the referendum that defeats the new law in California protecting transgender students. Fox News has continued to run the story without correcting it, and I know this wasn’t this week, but when the new law passed in June, there was definitely bouts of transphobia all over the news station.
These are just two examples, but being told I either don’t exist, or that I harass people, deserve to be in a camp, or institutionalized for this is beyond enough hate for just one week.
This past week was 7 months on T for me. I love it. My voice is lower, I’m hairy, I’m singing a bass part in a solo and I’m in small ensemble for choir now. I’m allowed to play rugby on the MEN’S team when I go to Manchester, and they are working with me every step of the way to get my through immigration. If I live in campus I get my own room in an all gender floor, and I only have to share a bathroom with 3 others, but it’s like the bathroom at my old campus. It’s a single bathroom with a single shower, and it works the best for me given that I’m in the middle of transitioning. If I live on campus, I move in the middle of September, meaning I’ll be on hormones for a year and a half at that point. I’ll probably live on campus for the first year because I can’t get my CAS number for my visa until June and private accommodation usually wants people there in July, so that’s not really enough time. But I can order my visa in July and have enough time to get it for September, as well as making travel arrangements. Plus, I have to show immigration that I can pay all of my tuition and my rent for a year, and I feel like it’s easier to say I am living in the halls than it is to say I have a flat. Plus, moving to a foreign country, I want to live in the halls for my first year.
When my name change comes through I have to update UCAS, which is the giant organisation that handles universities in the UK, and then MMU updates my offer with my legal name. I have to show immigration my carrying letter as well as a letter explaining why I have my hormones, but I’m not worried because it’s not that big of a deal, and the big thing is just changing my name and updating my passport because I got the passport when I was sixteen and I just don’t look like the same person at all.
I’m hopeful though. I’m excited. On the first of November I register for my last semester here. I’m spending Thanksgiving with my family and seeing my uncle for the first time since Christmas of 2007 because he’s been in Iraq or Afghanistan for every family function since then, but now they live about 6 hours away from us, so we are going to spend Thanksgiving together. He knows about my transition and he’s been to England several times, so we are going to talk about that when he’s here. I’m moving in 11 months. I’m beyond excited.