Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Story Part 143 – The Education Of Diana

All through life I lived in the suburbs which were 99.999% middle class whites Christians. When I went to school in town all my classes had only kids just like me, when I went to college it was with all middle class white students. But at work it was a little different; there were one or two black employees there and a number of Latinos working in the shop. However, when I came out of the closets I started my real education. In the class that I just taught on Tuesday I told them that before I came out that I never knew anyone with AIDS, I never knew anyone who had attempted suicide and I never knew anyone who had committed suicide. I never knew anyone who was a cutter and now I lost track of the number of people that I know are cutters. I never knew anyone who made their living from the streets and I never knew anyone who was a hardcore addict.

One trans-woman that I met through my advocacy was thrown out of her parent’s house when she was a teenager because she came out as trans. Being homeless as a teenager, she made her living from the only way she knew, from the street. When she was arrested and the police found out she was trans, they beat the crap out of her. She made her way north and when I first meet her she was living in a shelter, she has the warmest personality that I ever met and the sweetest voice I ever heard. One Transgender Day of Remembrance she asked if she could sing during the memorial service and when she sat at the piano and sang you could just see the joy and hear the beauty that she felt inside despite everything that she went through in life.

My education continued when I started graduate school, unlike my undergraduate classes, graduate school was a multicultural experience. It was a rich blend of cultures that I was exposed to for the first time in my life and I made many new friends. I imagine one of those events that I enjoyed attending is going to be happening again there in a week or two. It is where all those who want to share their religious traditions and their foods for the holidays are invited to attend. It was there that I learned about Hanukah, Three Kings Day, Kwanza and about the Wiccan traditions for their winter holiday. I learned to play dreidel and the tradition behind it, I tasted and loved Flan and I tried many other ethnic foods (not all that I liked). I enjoyed seeing their pride as they explained what the holidays meant to them.

So when I heard people talk about people on welfare or non-documented aliens or minorities, I wonder how many other people from other cultures that have they met and got to know as a person. Or when I hear people complain about people who say “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas” I wonder how many other religious traditions have they learned about.

I wish you all “Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!”

My Story is a weekly series of blog posts about my transition and observation of life as a trans-person.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter and some friends started a club at school called the "Bully Busters." They want to help kids who get picked on. I hope that her tolerance and acceptance of others will continue to grow as she does!