Posted by: Shula Asher Silberstein | 12 July 2010

Going to Atlanta and Saving the World

I’m entering an essay contest on TransQueer nation. The theme is, “Be Visible” and the winner gets to read their essay aloud at Atlanta PRIDE on October 9, 2010. That date also happens to be John Lennon’s 70th birthday.

I can’t share the essay with you all because the TQ Nation people haven’t read it yet. If you’ve been reading this blog at all, though, you know how passionate I am about this. I’m hoping my passion shines through despite the 800-word limit on the essay. I really really want to win this. I feel like it’s meant for me…especially given the date.

John Lennon is one of my heroes because of his passion and activism and because he managed to be himself and find true love in this world despite being a very unique individual. He was killed in 1980, long before marriage equality became a hot issue or before Transgender people really had the opportunity to express themselves. I have no doubt he would have supported the LGBT cause. All anyone would have had to do would ask him how he would have felt if he couldn’t marry Yoko Ono–G-d knows they experienced enough discrimination and strangers assuming they had no business being together–or what he would have done if he was required to get permission from a therapist to wear his trademark long hair or make his decision to stay home with his son simply because those things are more associated with women than men. (I know that’s an incomplete analogy, but it’s the best I can do at the moment and I know Mr. Lennon would have got the point anyway.)

I’m getting off the main point, which is that I think becoming active in a major way in the Transgender movement would be an awesome way to honor his 70th birthday. I’m going to try to save money to go to Atlanta Pride either way…but I am so excited about the possibility of speaking to the Transgender community!!! I hadn’t really thought of myself as a Transgender activist…I’ve known for a long time that I want to do something to help curb the suicide rate among LGBT youth, and lately the attitude that “being Trans is too dangerous” has been really bothering me. I think this is the next step I’m supposed to take on the unique path I’ve been given to follow.

So…Atlanta here I come! I’ll let you all know as soon as I hear anything.

In the meantime, my birthday is in less than two weeks. If you’re on Facebook, please donate to the Trevor Project in honor of my birthday. They’re the only LGBT-oriented suicide hotline in the United States, and the work they do is so, so important. Their literature says that it only costs $15 for one of their volunteers to answer one call. $15 could mean another person like Gavi who decides to choose life rather than death and another person like me who is so grateful that hir friend/family member is still alive that s/he dedicates hir life to helping others.

Sorry for the sales pitch, but this is really important to me. I’m trying to get the word out everywhere I can.

Facebook link:

Direct link to donate to The Trevor Project:

“[S]/he who saves a life saves the world.” – Jewish Proverb


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