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Transgender Panel Talks Growing Up Trans, Facing Discrimination, and Support

Joan Isabella/WDET

 Stephen Henderson speaks with three guests about their experiences coming out as transgender, as well as an issue currently being debated across the country: transgender equality.

Amy Hunter, a trans woman and transgender advocacy coordinator at the ACLU of Michigan Trans Advocacy Project, talks about coming out to her family. 

I was born in 1960…so there were not a lot of resources for me,” says Hunter. “The message I got very loudly and very clearly from my family… was something wrong with me.”  She says she told herself, “Whatever the consequences, I need to come out and be my authentic self, I can no longer be less than who I am.  That was probably the first time I felt any real peace of mind.”

Logan Casey, trans man and University of Michigan PhD candidate, also shares his experiences figuring out his identity and discovering the transgender community and resources. He says it was a revelation, “Finally having a language for this discomfort that I felt for as long as I can remember.”

Bre Campbell, a trans woman and founder of the Trans Sistas of Color Project in Detroit, addresses the violence that trans people, especially Black trans women, face. 

Having discomfort [with transgender people] is valid, but I don’t think the discomfort you feel towards a group of people should put them in danger physically.”  Campbell says, “I have been discriminated against for housing, and…told by an employer they would fire me if I used the female restroom after I transitioned.”  One of the steps to combat this discrimination, she says, is conversation, “There needs to be a dialogue that happens…and people need to be willing to change the way they think.”

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: ParaDox

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