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Equality isn’t Equal


TW: abuse, suicide

**This post is slightly different on FB because I choose to address a second issue here…trans advocacy. I got a message yesterday from someone who seemed annoyed by my celebratory posts on Facebook. This person accused me of jumping the “rainbow bandwagon”. She said that I didn’t really care about trans issues, and I’m only doing it because my boyfriend is trans. Then she went further, accusing me of having a “Trans Fetish”. 1st, transgender is not nor should it ever be a fetish. 2nd, just because I am a cis woman, doesn’t mean that I am not capable of advocating for something that matters to me, and no one will tell me that the work I do doesn’t matter because I’m not trans.  I usually ignore negative messages, but this is someone who challenged my principles, so it will be addressed.

Yeah, I jumped the rainbow bandwagon… I love bright colors. I also love the fact that I’m only seeing love on my dash.I haven’t seen a single hateful post among the 1600+ friends and family on my facebook. That means that choosing friends does not fall under “poor life choices” for me. I did lose a few, but I appreciate the fact that they “self edited” and unfriended me without any negative remarks. And I know there are a few that don’t agree with my social and political views, but they are the special ones who love me as a person and politely agree to disagree (thankfully not on my wall).

While I am thrilled that marriage equality has finally come to pass, I am saddened by the fact that it should have happened 20+ years ago.The idealist in me believes that human rights shouldn’t be an issue at all. The realist in me knows that this is just a tiny win for human equality and things are most likely going to get harder. My lovely friend Jess eloquently stated;
” The marriage equality ruling brings up a lot of feelings, critiques, complexity. It is not liberation. A lot of people got harmed, thrown under the bus, unsupported in the fight to get this happened. At the same time, it does change material conditions for some of us, and I think that’s important to recognize, even while holding all the hard, messed up, and violent things that happened at the same time.” She goes on to demand more from our community,and if you know her, you should read the rest of her amazing post. (I’m not here to steal her thunder, I’m here to make my own)

I began fighting for trans loved ones more than 20 years ago… before Tumblr, before social networking, before the internet entered most homes. I advocate because someone I love committed suicide due to hate 24 years ago. At that time, we were just kids, the word was “transsexual” not transgender, and Kory was made to feel as if she were a deviant because she wanted to wear my clothes. I met her in school, and thought she was a very cute boy. I had the good fortune of being raised properly, so it didn’t take long for me to realize that my friend was 2-spirit. I was taught that people like Kory were a rare blessing and I jumped at the opportunity to befriend her. Meeting her father was the first time in my life that I experienced true hate. Militant, extremist, and evil… he abused my friend in ways that cannot be described. I pretended to be Kory’s girlfriend for years, attending family events, and going on “dates” (where she just came to my house to raid my closet). It worked until her father found some notes from a boy she liked, and sent Kory to military school. She came home for the Holidays and stood up to her father. He nearly beat her to death with a gun after threatening to blow her head off. 2 days later, I walk in her room and find her dead on the floor. They say it was suicide, but I know it was her father who killed her, even if he didn’t pull the trigger. At first, I wished that she were alive to see this day. But if I could make a wish that mattered, I would wish that every step taken in the last few years; had actually happened 25 years ago. Kory would have been a warrior for her cause. I was her partner in crime and we would have rallied together. Imagine where we would be today… oh yeah, we aren’t supposed to say “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve”.

So I move on from this monumental moment knowing that there is still so much to do, and so many to fight for. I’m proud to say that, in some ways, this world has evolved from the one it was 25 years ago. In other ways, it’s devolved, but if she were here, she would at least have a fighting chance. Then I think about the fact that my daughter is having a baby and the potential of the future that he can have is what inspires me even more. I raised my children properly too, and I know that no matter what my grandchild becomes in life, his family will love and accept him, he will have greater opportunities, and he will be able to marry whoever he chooses.


About Ky peterson

Kyle (Ky) Peterson is a vibrant, intelligent, and uncommonly kind human being. He’s a hard worker, with a genuinely loving nature, and a passion for promoting Human Rights and Transgender Equality. His life was forever changed in 2011 when he fell victim to, not only a violent attacker, but also the “American Justice System”.

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