November is Transgender Awareness Month. LAHR unequivocally contends that transgender people are equal and must be treated as such by our communities and under the law. Yet, we know that most people still don't know trans, gender nonbinary, and gender queer people and do not understand the trauma caused by discrimination and exclusion. Trans people do not owe anybody an explanation for living and should not need to prove their worth. LAHR hopes that the stories shared this week will be received with the knowledge that telling your story publicly when you are not protected is dangerous and is an act of courage. We should be honored to be trusted with a glimpse into the lives of those we often harm — knowingly or unknowingly, through our action and inaction. We can all do better in our accepting and advocating for trans people, LGB folks included. The first thing we can do is make space for trans people tell their own stories and to listen.

Emily Dievendorf, President
Lansing Association for Human Rights