Pockets of Insecurity

Girls Night Out, I am Bottom Left
Image from the Jessie Hart Archives.
 Where I live in suburban Cincinnati, it has been rare in the past decade when I have ever been harassed for being transgender. In fact, I think the only time it happened was when I first moved down here approximately ten years ago.

However, if I travel a few more miles east into a neighboring county, I always find myself in a decidedly redneck or MAGA areas. One of the most memorable occasions took place two times when the Wiccan group I was part of had garage sales in a small village in the middle of the area I am referring to. Here we were on a Sunday morning and afternoon set up just outside of a big box store selling crafts and baked goods to interested people. Yes I was scared!

I thought, how the heck did a transgender Wiccan trans woman end up in an heavily redneck area on a Sunday? One in a million I thought. Then I was wrong, there was another trans woman trying her best to come out in a hostile world who owned a house not far from where I was. We have kept track of each other over the years through social media and recently has said she has had more than her share of problems from her world. She has been subjected to everything from old ladies shaking their fingers at her at the grocery store, all the way to men yelling derogatory things from their cars. Gender bigots everywhere it seems for my poor friend. 

The frustrating part is she presents well except for the usual problems with her height and voice. Naturally, she has expressed her frustration with living in the entire Cincinnati area. Several others, including me, mentioned it wasn't the entire metro area, just where she lived. 

Sadly, in many ways, my friend is stuck in a small way in the same problems all transgender women and trans men have living in Ohio. Even though, the metropolitan areas of the state are inviting, diverse and liberal. the redneck Republican politicians are now trying their best to erase all of the gains and rights trans Ohioan's have gained over the years. Now including even the rights to gaining healthcare for gender affirming hormones and beyond. In doing so, the state is threatening to come after the very clinics which work with the trans population. If it happens, it will be scary to see if the states' intrusion into my life will reach all the way to my Veteran's Administration health care. Which, for me has been overwhelming positive when it came to my gender affirming care.

The moral to the story is, no matter where you are or how far along you are in your transition, you better be aware of what your future could hold. Even though you are deep in your closet, you need to vote accordingly for your future. 

As far as my friend goes, I hope she finds away around all the gender bigots and discovers a way to live an authentic life.