An eleven-year-old transgender girl named Sadie has written an essay in response to Obama’s recent speech on his inauguration day to remind the President that there are some social justice causes that are being left by the wayside, even as he’s the first president to openly acknowledge the gay rights fight with a specific nod to the Stonewall uprising.
The world would be a better place if everyone had the right to be themselves, including people who have a creative gender identity and expression. Transgender people are not allowed the freedom to do things everyone else does, like go to the doctor, go to school, get a job, and even make friends.
Transgender kids like me are not allowed to go to most schools because the teachers think we are different from everyone else. The schools get afraid of how they will talk with the other kids’ parents, and transgender kids are kept secret or told not to come there anymore. Kids are told not to be friends with transgender kids, which makes us very lonely and sad.
When they grow up, transgender adults have a hard time getting a job because the boss thinks the customers will be scared away. Doctors are afraid of treating transgender patients because they don’t know how to take care of them, and some doctors don’t really want to help them. Transgender patients like me travel to other states to see a good doctor.
It would be a better world if everyone knew that transgender people have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. We like to make friends and want to go to school. Transgender people want to get good jobs and go to doctors like they are exactly the same. It really isn’t that hard to like transgender people because we are like everyone else.
Sadie’s mother told HuffPo that she is not ashamed or shy about who she is, despite prejudice expressed against her. It breaks my heart that someone so fortunate as to have supportive parents and to have identified the source of her discomfort so early in life should experience such bigotry as to be forced to travel great distances for health care from someone who is willing to help. That the hippocratic oath should be so easily cast aside in the face of mere discomfort at a person’s gender is appalling. It’s less surprising that other students and teachers would have so many prejudices, in a culture such as ours that enforces rigid gender roles, but it’s disturbing that medical professionals are just as susceptible to that cultural programming.
Oh, this isn’t my first evidence of such. Just a sad reminder.
Sadie is very brave for someone so young. I hope she has the support and love she deserves throughout her lifetime, unlike so many others in similar positions.