*Editor’s note: student responds to Hanna Sicurella’s letter to editor submission in issue 5
The transgender and nonbinary community is here, vocal, and due our respect.
It is a privilege to not have your pronouns, name, or identity questioned by others who do not seek to understand but judge. It is not the public's business what is in our pants, and it is the most simple courtesy to use the name and pronouns we introduce ourselves with; to do otherwise is to degrade and to other.
Transgender is not a dirty word, and it is our duty as a community to end stereotyping and stigma. “Stereotyping deploys a strategy of 'splitting'. It divides the normal and the acceptable from the abnormal and the unacceptable. It then excludes or expels everything which does not fit, which is different” (Hall 1997: 258). When this is applied to people of diverse identity and their well being, it can mean alienation and disaster. “We are not dealing with peaceful coexistence but rather with a violent hierarchy” (Derrida 1972. 41). Education and compassion is the means to end this abuse against transgender lives, to which everyone is responsible. It is also essential to vote. Remember, “ally is a verb.”
Trust that us trans people know ourselves and what is best for us. We are walking a path that is not chosen nor easy, but one that leads to authenticity and happiness.
I do not disagree that one group's beliefs should be dominant over another's, but it would be hypocritical to use this to justify deadnaming or using the wrong pronouns. Correct pronoun use is not about beliefs or ideas: it is about respect and honoring truth.
The trans community is strong, beautiful, and brave. We are acutely aware of who we are. We Will Not Be Erased.
With love and pride,
Nathan Dorband, he/him, EC student.