Within a few weeks of me arriving in Appleton, a transgender person named Sierra Broussard filed a lawsuit against a local club for not allowing her in. They checked her ID which still has an M & didn’t let her in. The Post Crescent, the local paper, covered the story.
There were so many comments left on that story that they wrote another story about the lawsuit for Sunday’s paper. The reporter asked for people who were willing to be interviewed, and me and Lynne volunteered.
I wanted to thank Cheryl Anderson, the journalist on the story, for getting across what I had to say. Sadly, however, she called Betty “he.” Unfortunately for Betty, there is enough evidence for me using “he” – from when she had a multi-gendered identity – that I can understand how that happens, even if I said “she” and “partner” throughout the interview. Of course if she met Betty that “he” would never seem appropriate.
I don’t know Ms. Broussard personally, but I do know that the whole “it” thing is unacceptable (as Lynne says in the interview) and that a person who lives as female 24/7 should use the ladies’ room. The legal hocus pocus is what people don’t necessarily understand: that a penis is not really a penis once it’s been on estrogen for even a few months; that genital surgery is not covered by health insurance *and* that it’s very expensive, and to plenty of people it’s just unnecessary surgery – and who wants to have surgery that they don’t have to have? That’s what I meant by education & tolerance; that maybe the average Joe doesn’t know all that’s involved, and that if they knew more, they might not be so quick to criticize the decision not to have genital surgery.
The problem is the legal requirement for genital surgery to change a gender marker on an ID. We have to come up with another way for trans people to change that, because surgery is a ridiculous requirement.