Over the last year I have had the pleasure of sharing historical information about our LGBTQ people. Covered the range of history, labels, who we are, how we got here, and even about fighting for our futures. While all of this is important, the single most important thing I have had the pleasure of sharing are the stories of the trans men and women of the Greater Cleveland area. It is important for each and every one of us to be seen and heard and as so many rights are trying to be revoked, it has never been more so. Our trans brothers and sisters are having the steps they have made forward being erased behind them. Sharing who they are, and their stories is one way to guarantee they will never be erased.
As we have seen with this administration, there have been legislation put into place that would prevent transgender people to serve openly in the military. Many states are picking up legislature that will force teachers and doctors to disclose to parents if any of the children they support identify as transgender. States are slowly revoking bills that were in place that would prevent discrimination of varying sorts, including gender-neutral bathrooms, protection of employment status, and simply hate crime laws. Even locally we have seen crimes committed against the transgender community misreported as cisgender crimes. As the death toll continues to rise against trans women and especially trans women of color, it is vital to provide a strong front of support.
It is difficult for me to effectively write about or give proper respect to being trans. As such, I have felt it was better to have them tell their stories, through a few guided questions and it is the best way for their voices to be heard.It is important, as it is for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, to be seen and heard, for people to realize that their lives more than likely already touch someone who is transgender. So, I have wanted to make people aware that there are far more Transgender men and women here among us, especially in Cleveland. Thank you to those that have shared their stories and I will continue to share any that would like to participate, just inbox me.
One of the first people that allowed me to share her story was Ginger. Ginger is Transgender Woman, known in the CLE transgender community, and does some activism. Ginger has been involved in organizing the Metro Health Transgender job fair for 3 years and works to educate medical students, nurses, and others on caring for transgender patients.You can read more of her story here, Ginger.
The next person to share their story was Belle Uras. Belle Ursa, a 22-year-old business owner in Tremont area of Cleveland. Belle wants you to understand that day to day lives are no different between Trans/Gender Non-conforming people and Cis-gender. We all eat, sleep, work, and have the same worries. Belle is co-owner of Amplio Fitness and focuses on mind, body, and spirit of the LGBTQ community. Make sure you check it out and support our community business owners. You can find Belle’s post here.
Not all transgender people live lives the way many of us do, many live them very unabashed and unapologetic. Arianna Jade is one of these people. She lives her life how she sees fit and doesn’t ask for approval. She is as comfortable with who she is personally as she is in her porn career. Arianna doesn’t live by the definitions of others, whether it be her personal life or her professional career. To use a quote from one of her social media pages “Accept no one’s definition of your life but define yourself.” Check Arianna’s storyfor more of how she is her own person.
Being able to make our LGBTQ people more visible is very important to me. In the future, I hope to share more of their stories. Seeing is and knowing us forces people to realize that we are their friends or family members and we may also be people they work with. Seeing things in that manner makes us hard to ignore and changes how people interact with us. It changes perceptions of who we are and how we live. It also allows up to see that we are not alone and that in our numbers we can find the strength to stand up for ourselves. To take back our pride and show that we have endured, and we are stronger for it. I leave you with this, we have to be allies to each of us. Not just straight people allying with LGBTQ. All of us need an ally at some point, will you be there for that person?