There are lofty causes and every day causes.
Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts stated in a recent Time magazine article, “Because of our Constitution, senseless discrimination cannot survive when it is brought out of the darkness. And it is because of the tireless work of jurists, lawyers, husbands like Jim Obergefell, and countless other LGBT Americans who stepped forward to speak out, that our nation will no longer look away from what our Constitution requires.”
Yes, a lofty victory we can all celebrate. We are the “T” part of LGBT and must stand and make sure we are recognized in lofty causes, as our turn comes up. There are those working for us that deserve our support. One of these is Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. NCTE is a social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality. Go to their website. Read. Support!
However, some causes may not seem so lofty, but you as an individual can still make a difference. Stana takes every opportunity to do outreach as I have done in the past, speaking before college and school groups. The questions are amazing and seeing the light of understanding coming on, is rewarding. This is a one-on-one opportunity and makes a difference.
Palm Beach County had a very unfortunate homicide take place in in 2012. I will quote from the most recent Palm Beach Post article on the incident: “A Palm Beach County jury on Thursday acquitted Luis Rijo De Los Santos in the 2012 attempted murder of a cross-dressed prostitute but was unable to reach a verdict in a related shooting where he killed another cross dresser and injured a third. The jury’s inability to decide unanimously on the other three charges after more than 50 hours of deliberations forced Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley to declare a mistrial for that part of the case.”
Very unfortunate at many levels. Let us hope for a retrial and justice prevailing.
My reason for bringing this is up is to applaud the Palm Beach Post staff writer Daphne Duret's correct terminology. How did this happen?
In all articles prior to May of this year, the victims were referred to as “transvestite prostitutes.” As we all well know, this is a socially loaded expression. After reading, several articles referring to the three victims this way, I decided to write to the newspaper.
The e-mail opened this way, “What were you thinking? Why did you use the term transvestite? Did you not realize that 'transvestite' or the short version 'tranny' is as offensive to the gender community as the N-word? Why not just call the accused Mr. Rijo De Los Santos, ‘a N... man’? That is how offensive I see the term 'transvestite' and it all but suggests that the transgender prostitutes deserved what they got. What difference did it make how they were dressed? A murder happened.”
The next articles used the better expressions “cross-dressed.” All previous articles were changed. Ms. Duret remarked back to me in an e-mail, “After I got your first email it sparked a 15 minute conversation in the newsroom.”
Senator Warren continued, “As a nation, we see now that discrimination heaped (upon) LGBT Americans violates protections laid out in the Constitution. We see it because countless Americans have stepped forward to make themselves seen and to expose ugly discrimination for what it is: a denial of liberty and equality for our fellow citizens.”
My point here is that a well-positioned letter, e-mail, conversation, and outreach opportunity can make a big difference. We can each do our part. Lofty causes and every day causes – individual actions – all victories to celebrate!
|Kira Sadovaya, male model|