Valley transgender community discusses the trans experience on International Transgender Day of Visibility

Written by on April 1, 2021

Valley transgender community discusses the trans experience on International Transgender Day of Visibility

By Tyler Pratt

April 1, 2021

Photo by Negative Space from Pexels

March 31 was International Transgender Day of Visibility. It celebrates transgender people and raises awareness of discrimination.

Listen to the story.

The Eastern PA Trans Equity Project held a virtual forum with members of the Lehigh Valley transgender community to share with the public more about the trans experience. Just as transgender issues are under a new spotlight in politics and media. 

Trans folk discussed their journeys, and challenges, coming out, being misgendered, and in the workplace. Khrys Exposito shared some of their experiences being gender non-conforming.

“We run into more of a psychological shame that we battle in that ‘Am I too feminine?’ and ‘Am I too masculine?’ What does it mean? And we run into this internal quandary,” Exposito says. 

Becky Miller is a teacher who has a transgender son. She says she’s taken lessons learned helping her child transition, into the classroom. Like trying to avoid pronouns with her students.

“I actually called some of my students chicken nuggets the other day rather than boys and girls or something like that. I try to find general neutral things and they thought that was hilarious,” Miller says.

The panelists shared a laugh in the moment. But the conversation became serious as they discussed the many bills currently in state legislatures across the country that could dial back transgender rights specifically when it comes to healthcare access. 

Members of the group like Miles Moliero described their frustration. 

“How much longer is it going to take for the world to see transgender people and be like ‘You know what, you do your thing. We’re going to give you all the full rights just like we did everybody else,’” Moliero says. 

Isabelle Porter says these moves make her furious.  

“When we open up the door even a little bit to injustices to treat people like we are not people, that is taking us backwards that is taking us in a disgusting and terrible direction and I’m just ready to support whomever I can and however I can and to let people in power know that this isn’t the way it works,” Porter says. 

Porter and other trans folk said they are asking people to work to be stronger allies. And to call out transphobia when they see it. 

WLVR and PBS39 are holding an election forum at 7  p.m. April 1 on LGBTQ issues in the Lehigh Valley with Allentown mayoral candidates. The Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center is co-hosting the event. 

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