Kristina Konwerski (she/her) is a Richmond-based writer who often writes about her thoughts about transgender issues. You can follow more of her work by subscribing to her Substack newsletter at kristinakonwerski.substack.com, or her instagram @kristinatsarina.
Last year had been filled with the most anti-transgender legislation this country has ever seen. House bills are being proposed in over half the country that would ban or limit gender affirming care for transgender youth, and ban transgender youth from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity. Being aware of transgender issues and the attacks on the transgender community is more important than ever before. These bills are meant for one sole purpose, and that is to eliminate transgender people from society. They are meant to exclude, discriminate, and erase trans identities. I wanted to share this with you all because unfortunately it is not getting enough media attention. The lives of transgender people should not be a political issue.
I began transitioning over six years ago, and my life has changed tremendously for the better in ways I never thought imaginable. When I was younger, I thought I would never find love, I feared my anxiety would never subside, and I anguished over the possibility of never loving myself. When I finally began to take my life back, life brought me everything I dreamed of, and I could not be in a better place. These bills are telling young people who are trying to find themselves that this life is not possible, and that there is something wrong with those who don’t simply accept what society has placed upon them without their consent.
Transgender people face obstacles that are often not thought of or talked about. We spend copious amounts of money on rebranding ourselves with ways to alter our appearance to feel more comfortable, we have to face discrimination from employers when looking for jobs, we have to fear for our lives on a daily basis when going out in public and potentially being “clocked,” and we often wonder whether or not we will ever find someone that will love of us simply for being ourselves. Trans people are constantly fighting to prove that we are not a threat, and that what we want more than anything is acceptance.
Each year the number of trans people killed continues to increase, and as of now this year there have been 44 confirmed deaths of trans and gender non-conforming people. Acts of violence committed against us stem from many reasons, but one that I strongly feel is a cause is the way that transgender people have been portrayed in media over the past several years. I want to recommend that you all watch the Netflix documentary film Disclosure, which discusses trans representation in media. Watching this film in addition to spreading awareness about the anti-trans legislation in this country is one way to be an ally. I am fortunate to have made it this far, and with your understanding and acceptance, maybe one day trans people will feel a little bit safer and more accepted.