By Sabrina Samone, TMP
Growing up in a small football town in rural South Carolina as a budding Trans was not easy to say the least. After growing up, moving away and hearing the horror stories of other LGB and Trans people, I had to be a little thankful because it could have been worse. When I was a student at Hartsville High, living your life as Trans wasn't an option; few of us knew what the name for someone who did not want the biological equipment assigned. Our peers called us RuPaul, so that must be what it meant to live in the wrong body at the time. I was often told by random girls on the school bus, "oh I hate you...your figure is better than mine. All you need are boobs." I remember thinking how I wanted to scream out, "how...where...please tell me." All I could focus on was getting the heck out of that school and into a life I knew had to somehow be more fulfilling. After I left, a fellow student hadn't been so lucky. A young gay guy, a couple of years behind me, locked himself up in his families apartment, doused the place with gas and burned himself in his home. We all had been bullied, even bullied by those that later would be making out in gay bars themselves, but a few didn't make it out alive and many who did...the mental scars were obvious.
Across the country many LGBT teens continue to fight ignorance everyday while just trying to be a kid. Many Trans-youth along with supportive families are fighting back. Several stories came out in 2013 of Trans-youth fighting for the right to use the proper restroom. Many in mainstream society can only think of it as a sexual issue when a kid insists on using the restroom that fits their dress and gender identity. They don't even consider how it looks for a girl in a dress, who is still biologically male but yet still dressed as a female, walks into a male bathroom. The risk and dangers to this youth are too long to list here, but schools across the country who insist on turning a blind eye to Trans-youth issues are putting their lives, and the mental health of thousands of others in jeopardy.
I moved away from the town in which I grew up and went to high school and did my best not to ever look back due to the large scale of ignorance I encountered. I still have family and close friends there and continue now to visit, but for years after I left I would not return.
Times have changed slower than other places, but changed non the less. A old high school friend contacted me on face book. She told me the story of a local teen whom she was close with and revealed the turmoil they faced at school as a Trans-youth. She wanted them to have someone like them to talk to if needed. What I found was a kid's story that reminded me of the ignorance I once faced at Hartsville High School and how I'd hoped another tragedy could be avoided.
Marky is first a foremost a Trans-teen, a minor, so I will only be revealing her first name with no pictures in order to protect her identity. Bibi Rowan, my dear friend from school, and Transmuseplanet are available to be reached if any South Carolina advocates or organizations would like to reach out to assist Marky and Hartsville High School in ways to promote unity and equality in Hartsville South Carolina.
Here are the words of a Trans youth living in rural South Carolina:
Bibi Rowan, contacted me during this interview to provide an update to Marky's dilemma with the restrooms at HHS. She was not given OSS since they did not determine the motive was sexual, but she is still denied use of the women's restroom until she has fully transitioned.
If you are part of a local organization for Trans and or LGBT equality and would like to reach out to Marky and her family, you may first contact Bibi Rowan or Transmuseplanet for further contact.
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