Friday, November 20, 2015

Resilience and Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDOR is observed annually on this day to remember those who lost their lives in acts of violence against gender non-conforming people.

The organization Strong Families has created a Trans Day of Resilience Art Project for the occasion. See the rest of the images at the link.
Meanwhile, there remains a generation of transpeople who transitioned before the current outburst of affirming awareness and remain extremely vulnerable to mistreatment for the offense of becoming themselves. According to a transman named "Marc," these older people often

"don’t have families of origin. They don’t have spouses, family or children,” he says. “If you don’t have those people advocating for you, you’re far more likely to be abused in a living facility or nursing home.”

For this highly marginalized group, the idea of going into an assisted living facility is a nightmare. Michelle Evans’s worst fears about care facilities came true just after she transitioned.

Evans, a 59-year-old trans woman from Orange County, Calif., knew from a young age that her body and mind were at odds, although it took her nearly a lifetime—over 50 years—to fully transition. About a year after she did, she broke both legs in an accident and was forced to stay in a nursing home after surgery. Except that no nursing home would take her, she says.

When she finally found one that would, it insisted on putting her in the men’s ward. Evans protested and eventually ended up with a room of her own, but she says the doctor in charge told her that identifying as a female was “wrong.”

The doctor eventually stopped Evans’ hormone treatments and took her off blood thinners—medication she needed after her surgery. Soon Evans developed dangerous blood clots in her legs. A friend finally intervened and took her back to the hospital, where she was told she had only 24 hours to live—the clots had made it to her lungs.

Evans survived and won a cash settlement -- but what can repay her for such trauma? Read her story and more here.

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