The Trans Experience During the Pandemic

Among the many stories to be told when the pandemic of 2020 eventually subsides will be the stories from those who are transgender. Being trans in the best of times is a challenge, especially for young people and those in the midst of transition. During these dark days of social distancing, quarantines, and shelter-in-place directives, trans individuals find themselves at a particular loss. Consider the children and young people still yet to come out to their families, who could only express themselves in front of mirrors at home when no one else was there. Now, everyone is home – always! […]

November’s Other Memorial Day

The riot began in the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969. Some say it started with a thrown brick. Others say it was a tossed shot glass dubbed “The shot glass heard ‘round the world”. It happened at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, after years of police harassment and repeated raids on gay bars. A line had finally been crossed and the Stonewall Riots sparked the beginning of the modern LGBTQ movement. There has been much discussion about the role transwomen played at Stonewall. Termed transvestites or drag queens or transsexuals at the time, two […]

The ‘Hard-Wired’ Brain

A colleague and I have had a long-running discussion about the nature of gender. She contends that gender is a social construct – that society creates gender, and agrees with gender feminists who believe that all distinctions between men and women are both culturally and socially constructed with biology playing a relatively minor role. We are engaged in the classic nature vs. nurture debate. If our discussion was limited to gender roles, I would agree with her – behaviors and expectations based upon sex and gender are indeed culturally imposed. However, it is difficult for me to accept that my […]

When the is Time is Right

The room grew quiet as I approached the microphone. Upon the start of the meeting, I had absolutely no intention of outing myself to the community by publicly speaking before the town council. For my own protection, I would let the allies speak for me. Yet, to the surprise of my friends in attendance, here I was standing before the council. The Borough of Chambersburg is a small town located in Pennsylvania just north of Hagerstown. While Maryland LGBTQ residents have been protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and services, Pennsylvania is the lone Northeastern state not to afford such […]

What’s it Like to be Transgender?

Someone recently asked me what it was like being transgender. It wasn’t the first time I had been asked that question and I have come to know that this transgender journey is indeed a mystery to others. Yet, I’ve been thinking – most people may already know what it really is like to be trans. Consider . . . If you have ever held a secret so deep and dark and knew you could never, ever share it with anyone and hoped you would die before that secret got out – you might already know what it’s like to be […]