Letter to the Editor: Transgendered deserve rights
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 19:04
I am transgendered and prefer to go by the name Jennifer Peña.
All my life, from my earliest memories, I have felt as though I was the wrong gender. After 26 years of trying to hold myself back, I have finally decided to let go and be the woman I’ve always wanted to be.
While I was a student here, the chancellor released clarification 10-01, on June 22, 2010. While most people have no idea what this means, or if they should even care, this was a landmark for myself and everyone transgendered attending or working at any of the Alamo Colleges.
This clarification added gender identity to the nondiscrimination and harassment policies among other things. While people like myself are now legally assured that we have the same rights and freedoms as anyone else within the Alamo Colleges, it hardly means we are treated equally.
People will always have a particular mindset for how a man or woman should look, sound and behave. When someone doesn’t fit that, they are easily singled out and subjected to what can only be described from my own experiences, as psychological torture.
Stares and whispers are just as emotionally damaging as a direct confrontation.
Another inequality yet to be addressed is the lack of more private facilities for people like myself.
I don’t want to have to use the women’s locker room any more than probably any woman on campus would want me there, but the only alternative is to go to Moody Learning Center and use the unisex restrooms on the second floor.
In some cases, that’s just not reasonable. It is perfectly reasonable that these issues have never been addressed by employees here as there has most likely been few if any transgendered individuals working here.
I am a minority and will probably remain that way forever, but how many does it take to stand up and demand to be recognized?
Why should it take millions to demand equality?
A single person deserves the same rights and freedom to exist in this world as any other person.
Jimmy “Jennifer” Peña
Activities Specialist, Student Life