Scoping the stage, a simple podium and microphone are next to (and what I guess real) plants. Nothing to elaborate, no trans* colors bleeding down to the audience, although I manged to grab trans* pride flag and pin (saying Transohio) and a few other freebies in the lobby. Good thing I brought my backpack.
One thing I placed on my person was a name tag saying, "Hello address me as ________ please use They, Them, Theirs." The red tag brought me to a giggle, it was my fist time wearing such name plate. I awaited the main event: Laverne Cox.
And so she appeared with cheers surrounding. The Orange Is The New Black Netflix TV show hit (which is based on a memoir, just putting that out there.)
Her words interwove her life, childhood, adolescence, and womanhood with the reality that, then and now, transwoman (specifically of color) are harassed, beaten, raped, murdered, and still fail to have protections in place that all humans desire: the ability to be themselves, protected by a government that says they will do just that. And that's why talks like these should exist: to bring light and attention to a crater gap basic need. The need to feel safe walking down the street. The need to be safe in a space once thought of as safe. It's a need, and in time I can only hope that need is filled
After the talk, on the way to the banquet that had tasty treats like cookies, brownies, and fruit, I grab some more name tags. Most were of the "they" pronoun, while a couple allowed me to create my own preferred pronoun tinted in orange.
An opportunity arose to have the KYC group have a group photo with Laverne Cox. A quick snap shot to mark ending an amazing experience.
KYC Youth and Staff. Please feel free to comment and recommend topics for future posts. Youth posts are anonymous due to the confidentiality of the Center.