Transgender Hoosiers speak: Jayne’s Story

We’re going to be featuring more stories and letters from transgender Hoosiers talking about their experiences with discrimination, their fears about living in a less-than-accepting state, and what they would like their legislators to understand about transgender people.

Here is Jayne’s story:

Dear Legislators,

I write today as more than a Hoosier or a constituent, but as a human being. Currently in most places in Indiana you can be fired from your job, kicked out of your house, or denied service because of who you are and whom you love. Sound familiar? Plenty of people have said or written this many times and in many ways, especially over the past year, but it bears repeating until something is done about it. For good. By simply adding “sexual orientation, gender identity” to the section of state code that already contains non-discrimination protections based on race, gender, veteran status and religion, this can all change.

While Indiana’s and your stance in ensuring that all people in our state are treated fairly and with respect is vital to what many call our ability to “compete in the national and global marketplace.” I think that it’s equally vital to do what is morally right. It’s time for Indiana to stop hiding behind rhetoric and fear mongering. Help take steps to end the hate, the violence and the fear. I won’t get into the fact that people are trying to pass off discrimination as “Religious Freedom.” What I want to get into is the very fact that as a person that is transgender, who has a family, a home, loving children and a job, must hide in fear of being who I really am outside of my own house. That despite the fact that my loving spouse of nearly 20 years, my two children and my entire family that encompasses a wide range of religions, retired nuns, devote Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Baptists and everything in between all support and love me… That despite all of that, I must stay hidden for fear of losing the job I have which is the sole income for my family.

And it’s not just some job. I love my job. I work with the public, with children, helping them, educating them, promoting reading and making a difference in underprivileged neighborhoods. I work with the community to make Safe Havens happen in high risk neighborhoods, to organize blood drives, find people jobs and serve everyone no matter their race, gender, religion, political stance, sexuality, gender identity or expression or anything at all. They are all deserving of not only my respect, but my help.

I am only asking that you please do the same for me, my family and the not just the L, G and B of my community, but the T as well.

Sincerely,

Jayne

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