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Independence Day #AllShallBeEqual

ky grad-002

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Ky sent his graduation picture last week, and I am thrilled to be able to share it here. Ky is still overwhelmed by the fact that he has finished high school. It took him a year of begging the prison, but they finally allowed him into school and he is so incredibly thankful.

Irony is defined as a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

Today is Independence Day… it’s the day our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, freeing them from the rule of the British.  It is ironic to me that we as a county are celebrating a bunch of rich, white, slave owning aristocrats didn’t want to pay taxes anymore. These are the men who formed the government that we currently pay taxes to and they also drafted and signed this Declaration: (Is it irony that Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote this, also owned more than 200 slaves?)

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

I feel that these men probably meant to say “all men are created equal…EXCEPT anyone who is not a European, white,cis male who believes exactly what we believe.”

It’s been almost 240 years, and with the recent passing of Marriage Equality, this country is slowly beginning to resemble the words that were written by our hypocritical forefathers. As a Native American, (Blackfoot and Cherokee), I love my country. I love that America is dreamily considered the “Melting Pot” and the land of opportunity for many. I just wish that the reality reflected the dream.

It is ironic that a trans person has to secretly join the military in order to serve his/her country. It is ironic that a trans man is accepted as a man in Afghanistan, but cannot use the men’s room in America. It is ironic that a trans woman can go to war to protect freedom’s that she is not allowed to have. It is ironic that LGBT men and women fight for the 1st Amendment so that bigots are free to shout hate at them in public.

If you are trans, the American Dream is just that…a dream. You begin life trapped in your body, and growing older you become confined by social constructs. It takes years of fighting…yourself, your family, society and the government, plus tens of thousands of dollars to transition to a point where you feel comfortable in your own skin. Many never reach that point. How is that freedom?

I wish to end this day on a positive note. I believe in change. It’s slow, but it will happen. Twenty-five years ago, I prayed, “One day, everyone will be able to marry the person they love.”  That “One Day” is has become TODAY.  So I will speak the future into existence by saying this: One day, the police will not be able to get away with killing unarmed children in the streets. One day, trans women will be able to walk in public without fear of being murdered. One day, trans men will be able to use public restrooms without fear of being assaulted. One day, trans and non-binary kids won’t be bullied into believing that suicide is the only answer. One day, there will be justice in the legal system again.  One day, justice will find Ky, and he will come home to a better “free world” than the one he lost.

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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