From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/opinion/twenty-years-trans.html
Looking back on two decades in which things got better and much worse.
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Jan. 22, 2020
Twenty years ago this month I stood on the banks of Great Pond, in Rome, Maine, holding my children in my arms. It was New Year’s Eve. Over the frozen lake, fireworks burst, welcoming the new millennium.
Something inside of me struggled to be known.
The next morning we climbed French’s Mountain, in Belgrade. We do that every year, on New Year’s Day. We ate clementines.
At the summit I looked down over Long Pond. What would happen, I wondered, if I finally spoke the words aloud, after all these years? Was this the moment I would lose my children, my job, my marriage?
On Jan. 6, 2000, I did it. I’m transgender, I said.
So much has changed since then. In some ways, this country has become safer, as more and more of us step forward to proclaim our realness.
In other ways, we’re more threatened than ever.
When I came out, no one had yet been schooled on the finer points of hating me; most bigots in this country didn’t know a trans woman from the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Because my existence was so far off their radar, few people had bothered to come up with laws to make my life worse. No one lost much sleep over trans folks serving their country. Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono and Janet Mock were not publicly out; Laverne Cox was 13 years from her epic role in “Orange Is the New Black.”
There had been plenty of public fighters for trans people before me — including the iconic Sylvia Rivera, as well my friend Kate Bornstein. But still, there were times when trans advocacy was a lonely place to be.
It is not lonely now. The country abounds with trans people, and not only people like me. There are drag queens and nonbinary people and genderqueer folks and so many others. It is awesome to think of how far we have come.
But it’s also scary. Because now that we’re on the radar, conservatives (and others) have developed a new language with which to demonize us.
Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/opinion/twenty-years-trans.html