Two moving posts from Hoosier Chris Garrison on Indy Pride, visibility in the trans community, and the emotional price we pay for being openly ourselves.
A lot has happened in the past week. I’ve had incredible highs; I’ve felt like a part of something much bigger than myself. And with that feeling of belonging comes a terrible price.
Last Wednesday, I had the great honor to be one of the hosts of Being Transgender in Indiana: Making History Past and Present. This was the second year we trans folks in Indiana got together to look back at where we’ve been, take stock of where we are, and look forward to what we hope to achieve in the future. The event was much bigger this year, having been more popular than Indy Reads Books could contain last year, we were given space in the Indiana Historical Society to hold a Transgender Health and Wellness Fair, followed by the main event, with many speakers representing many facets of the transgender experience.
Donating blood while trans in Indiana and across the U.S. involves being misgendered or stealth.
The horrible thing about disasters is that we all feel so helpless as we watch from afar. I watched the news from Orlando unfold on Sunday, and my heart ached. I cried for those who were murdered, the wounded, and their friends and families. I recognized them as my own community, though I’d never been to Pulse, and I live 1000 miles away in Indianapolis. I cried for the LGBT community. I didn’t know what to do. I wrote an article, but still felt a hollow ache.
So, when a friend of mine suggested we could go together to the Indy Pride Blood Drive for Orlando this evening, I said yes, even though I had no idea whether I’d be turned away.
SPOILER: I was able to donate. But I had to swallow my dignity to do it.