On May 10th, NCTE Executive Director and Penn State University alumna Mara Keisling sat with Patty Satalia, host of “Conversations from Penn State,” to talk about her personal story, issues facing transgender people, and what NCTE is doing to make a difference. In describing her story, Keisling said “I always like to say I was born, because I think not everybody understands that transgender people are just people like everybody else.” She went on to highlight her personal journey, her fears, and coming out to her family.
Keisling detailed the recent successes of NCTE and transgender people. Keisling said, “we have a place at the table in Washington, we have a place at the table in a lot of states now, and in the media.” And explaining NCTE’s approach to advocacy, she said with the Obama administration, “everybody gets to come and redress their grievances with the government. And if you’re right and you make a good case you’re probably going to win.”
Although there have been several recent victories, there are many issues that still need to be addressed. Keisling said, “almost anytime anything gets done for transgender people or for LGBT people, as a whole, we get calls from people saying, yes, but I still don’t have a job.” NCTE and other organizations are working hard to address these, and many other issues that affect transgender people.
Through these victories in federal policy, we are truly making progress towards an overall more accepting future. As Keisling points out on Conversations, “more and more straight kids are really stepping up for their LGBT friends and relatives.” In a web exclusive, Keisling also spoke about how she feels playing a role in the movement, “I am so incredibly lucky. I get to do something that I know in my heart is helping people.”
Watch the full interview here.