Ending Violence Against Trans People Starts with Respecting Them in Everyday Life

I was standing in front of a dorm sign-in desk, the February cold still fresh on my face. A young college girl was grilling me about my driver’s license, which my girlfriend’s university forced me to show in order to visit her over the weekend.

“This isn’t your ID,” the woman at the front desk told me. “This is a guy’s ID.”

“Oh. That’s my ID. I’m… I’m a transgender woman.”

“Well,” she replied, “then you need to update your license.”

The ID itself was over three years old, but it was still good. Even though I was a year into my gender transitioning, the similarities between my past self and my present were apparent enough for bouncers and waitresses in Manhattan to know better than to ask. This, of course, was not the case with the student working at the front desk, who seemed bewildered at the idea that a boy could become a girl.

“You need to update your ID,” she told me again. “I’m sorry, but those are the rules.”

The truth was, I lacked the government documents necessary to update my New Jersey license into a New York one, so I had to hold onto my old ID for the time being. Of course, for your average cisgender college student, a problem like this is entirely unimaginable. There’s no need to hop from queer house to queer house with just the bare essentials, unable to travel back to their family’s home and grab their documents. Nor do they need to deal with the soul-crushing social anxiety that comes with outing yourself to a stranger at the DMV.

Read the entire story here. It features Resist grantee Trans Student Educational Resources