In­form­ing read­ers of trans peo­ple’s needs

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Dur­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized Trans­gen­der Aware­ness Week each Novem­ber, the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity makes a spe­cial ef­fort to ed­u­cate the larger com­mu­nity about their pres­ence, the chal­lenges they face, and their suc­cesses. Far too of­ten the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity has ex­pe­ri­enced prej­u­dice, dis­crim­i­na­tion and vi­o­lence. De­spite these chal­lenges, trans­gen­der or­ga­ni­za­tions coura­geously speak up, and in do­ing so are slowly erod­ing prej­u­dice and are gain­ing ac­cep­tance of their unique needs.

Thank you to The Fresno Bee and Macken­zie Mays for the Nov. 18 ar­ti­cle “This or sui­cide’: Lack­ing lo­cal op­tions, trans peo­ple travel hours for surgery” about trans­gen­der health care in the Val­ley. Putting a face on the need for such care, the ar­ti­cle gives Jess Fitz­patrick an op­por­tu­nity to tell the story of his or­deal with the hor­mone in­jec­tions and de­ci­sion to in­clude surgery as a part of his jour­ney of to­ward emo­tional health. I ap­pre­ci­ate Jess and his hus­band Jor­dan’s will­ing­ness to share their sto­ries with the pub­lic; it’s a coura­geous act.

My hope is that all who read the story learn from it and con­sider how they can be sup­port­ive of peo­ple Jess refers to as part of “the tini­est of mi­nori­ties, and the ones with least rep­re­sen­ta­tion and power.”

– Camille Rus­sell, Fresno

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