Transgender people are often discriminated against in many aspects of life, and are also the victims of hateful harassment and verbal abuse. Being transgender myself, I find this to be an injustice that needs to be changed. What makes matters worse is that often times there are witnesses to the abuse, harassment, hate, and discrimination, and yet no one ever does or says anything about it, and various incidents are ignored most of the time.
This past May a group of students really stepped up to the plate and showed me a lot about character and also showed that not everyone is a bystander when a discriminatory and hateful act occurs. These students are part of Brookline High School’s Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is program out of Brookline, Massachusetts, the students decided to raise money and donate it to us here at the National Center for Transgender Equality. In total, the students raised and donated $180. The donation was sparked by an incident at the students’ school that involved transphobia and homophobia.
A derogatory note was found in someone’s mailbox at school which stated “Do you consider yourself to be transgender because you’re really just a homophobic faggot”. A note containing language of that nature is very offensive and degrading, and all it does is spread a message of hate and ignorance.
The students were very alarmed by this note and wanted to take a step towards erasing transphobia and homophobia. They stated in a letter delivered to us here at NCTE that they hope the money “helps in allowing transgender voices be heard and to stop all kinds of discrimination toward the transgender community”. The fact that they had such a great concern for the transgender community and their school’s community that it caused them to reach out to us on a voluntary level and to be so selfless at such a young age is something we all respect and honor here at NCTE.
This is one donation that goes above and beyond simply giving money to a cause, and all of us who are a part of this organization are thankful for students like these from Brookline High School; not only for their donation, but also for their commitment to ending discrimination against transgender people and striving for equality for all. We would also like to commend them on rising to the occasion and noticing discrimination when it’s happening, and taking action toward ending it! Great job and thanks to all those at Brookline who were a part of this!