What the Election Means for Transgender Americans

Teri Main
Reedley, CA
United States

I am a transgendered American. I transitioned from male to female in 1993. I am not a prostitute (and have never been one). Before I retired in 2012, I was a college professor, active in my church, teaching and writing Bible studies and rarely thinking about my gender journey unless some crude person said something, but as hurtful as it was when it happened, it happened rarely. I had the respect of my family, my church, my college, and my community. I am fortunate in that I still do.

However, for the past six months or so, I have been more afraid than almost any time since my transition. It started with the anti-transgender laws in places like North Carolina where it is now illegal for me to use the women's room even though anatomically using the men's room, at least for one function would be nearly impossible. For six weeks, I didn't leave my house except for the most important business and I got back as soon as possible afraid to use the public restroom even though there are no such laws in California. But some local groups had decided to start monitoring restrooms.

I had just about gotten over that fear as things seemed to be calming down, and Trump appears wanting to make America "Great Again," which everyone knew was code for rolling back protections for anyone other than white angry men. I've had no trouble, but I'm back to being scared. It may or may not be rational. But I'm going nowhere on my own. I spend as little time out of my house as possible and I am avoiding going anywhere outside my own community.

Donald Trump and the attitudes that brought him into office has shrunk my world to a single house.

Here is a man who has been married four or five times, jokes about adultery and groping women, makes the air blue with Howard Sterne. Meanwhile, I am a virgin, sexually pure, keep my language pure and I'm the one his followers would call a pervert. How did we get so screwed up?

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