A Transgender Day in the Life

I was at a pizza place the first time it happened. My boyfriend at the time wanted to take me on a date, so we walked to the small Positive Pie a little ways away. After ordering we went to the back of the restaurant, where a group of maybe seven 18-year olds were sitting. We kept getting looked at by this one guy. After maybe ten minutes of total silence he asked if we were lesbians. “Dude, we’re both boys,” I said.

He laughed at that. “Yeah right. I can tell you’re girls playing dress up.”

Angered at this, I insisted we weren’t.

“Yeah I’d like to see what’s in your pants. Pull them down. Or maybe pull up your shirt. I bet you don’t have a pecker,” he kept taunting. This went on for a while, but finally I had had enough. I threw my drink at him. If looks could kill I would have been dead, but thankfully the store manager kicked them out. Needless to say we didn’t leave for a long time, because we were so scared they’d be waiting somewhere to hurt us.

This was the first time it happened, but not the last. Actually, it happens a lot and not just to me, but to trans people everywhere. According to nobullying.com, about 82% of LGBT kids get bullied.

Destery Thomas is a nonbinary junior at U-32. This means they identify outside the boy/girl gender range and use “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun. On average, they get misgendered around 30 times a day. That’s about 11,000 times of being called “she” in one year.

Destery and a friend with a positivity sign.

“People don’t really understand my gender. I’ll have kids who think it’s fake come over to me and say ‘I identify as a refrigerator, respect my gender.’ It gets old,” said Destery.

A lot of people forget that the bullying doesn’t stop at school. It’s a constant battle that continues day and night, almost never ending. A lot of transgender kids struggle at home with their family. According to nobullying.com about 50% of LGBT kids have a negative environment at home because of their gender or sexuality.

When I first came out to my parents, things seemed ok. No one spoke much of it until about a month later. That was when my step dad decided he couldn’t handle me. He told me no one would ever love me for what I am. That no one would ever want to marry a freak like me.

This was definitely one of the most painful things I’ve ever been told, and things like this happen everyday to trans people. Sometimes, it never stops.

Destery said “I wake up everyday and feel dissociated, like I’m not a real person because I have to hide my identity. I live in a constant fear of being hurt because the world tells me i’m not real, or i’m just a fetish, or a cry for attention. People forget I didn’t choose this. Sometimes I feel so uncomfortable in my body I want to pull my skin off.”