The Courage of Being Transgender in a Climate of Hate

The human rights transgender people deserve are not going to be advanced in a day, or a few weeks; the struggle for equality has been happening for over 100 years.

Transgender Discrimination Infographic 2014 (K. Charles Moore)

Transgender Discrimination Infographic 2014 (K. Charles Moore)

In recent headlines a transgender Filipino woman, Jeffrey Laude, 26, was found dead in a hotel room. Laude’s family, and two witnesses came forward to file murder charges. A United States Marine is the suspect of the murder, which the autopsy reports a death due to asphyxiation by drowning.

More and more transgender people are coming out to help others face the struggles and feelings that come with identifying as a gender not assigned at birth. Laura Jane Grace is a transgender woman who many may know from the punk rock band, Against Me! Grace came out as transgender in 2012. Two years later in 2014 the band released their sixth studio album titled, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. The album deals with Grace’s coming out and her gender dysphoria.

Transgender people face the challenges of being their true selves and society doesn’t make it any easier. Outlined in a report by the Williams Institute over 40% of transgender people attempt suicide. When a transgender person comes out they will most likely face discrimination, violence, sexual assault, death, or harassment. These experiences will be at the hands of the police, the public, classmates, family, and even a United States Marine, in Laude’s case. When faced with these injustices coming out is one of the hardest options and suicide becomes an attractive alternative. It takes courage to come out and confront the inequality of being transgender.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico Hosts An Event to Get Out the Vote

It’s important for everyone to vote because the people who participate determine the election outcomes; the Democratic Party of New Mexico or DPNM hosted an event over the weekend to remind people to register and get out the vote.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico Hosts An Event to Get Out the Vote from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

Registering to vote is easy, anyone over the age of 18 can vote. New Mexico residents can simply pick up a voter registration application or print the national form that is available online and mail it in to your local County Clerk’s Office.  Anyone who is already registered, volunteering for offices like the DPNM in Albuquerque can be a great resource to remind people to register to vote.

Elected officials make important decisions and while voting doesn’t guarantee that one’s favorite will win, choosing not to vote denies even that chance. These officials often respond to people who bother to vote, so this makes voting an important role to get your voice heard.

If you would like to register now and get out the vote in your state, Government Made Easy has you covered.

Al Franken  at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Al Franken at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Al Franken  at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Al Franken at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Young Democrat at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Mother and daughter at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Al Franken at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Al Franken at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Voters at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Attendees at DPNM Event. Albuquerque, NM (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Make a Difference Change an Animal’s Life at the Thrift Shop

The Animal Humane Association of New Mexico is giving animals a second chance at life by proactively dedicating services to help find life long homes for shelter animals.

Animal Humane Thrift Shop from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

Helping out a shelter animal doesn’t necessarily mean adopting. In many cases these animals need a life long companion but also food, care, and veterinary services while in a shelter. The best gift a shelter animal could receive is a loving home; although some may not be able to provide a home due to living circumstances. Don’t worry you can still help out, the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico offers many ways for animals to get the help they need.

There are numerous ways to help out the pet residents in the care of the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. Donating can save an animal’s life, but also giving your gently used items to the Thrift Shop ran by the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico can help just as much. All proceeds from the Thrift Shop go to the animals under the Humane Association’s care. If you think your donations are too large just give the Thrift Shop a call at 505-938-7915 and they’ll assist in picking up donations.

Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Albuquerque Thrift Shop (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Albuquerque Thrift Shop (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Making a difference in an animal’s life can be rewarding and volunteering is a good way to personally participate. Make new friends; work with pets, and even experience opportunities offered by the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. Go out and make a difference, because every animal deserves a chance to find a happy home.

Engaging An Audience Through Online Communities

Using the Internet to engage online communities through social media is a great way to collect quantitative information about topics, develop new angles, and even find new audiences.

The old Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico before it was demolished. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

The old TGRCNM before it was demolished. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

Feedback over the Internet is often times negative but if you give an individual a voice with a guise, the truth can become apparent. Many may say this is quite the contrary and that the Internet is full of dishonesty. People become more honest over the Internet and according to Jeff Hancock dishonesty is in human nature, especially in relationships with others. For instance in this TED Talk, The Future of Lying, Hancock references studies based on online resumes, Facebook personalities, online dating, and compared them with the day-to-day lies of an individual. Hancock states that in much more instances online communication is more honest than face-to-face.

This is why it is important to use the Internet to engage and collect feedback from individuals based upon their knowledge or opinions. Throughout this last week, surveys and stories were conducted on transgender awareness. These stories and surveys were shared on the Internet and gained responses.

The Story Intro of Being Gender from Kevin Charles Moore on Vimeo.

A story with a video to the intro of a documentary was shared along with an article about the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico or TGRCNM. This story received eight shares from the site posted and 23 likes, with one reader expressing excitement for the actual story after viewing the intro clip.

Transgender Awareness Survey - Conducted by K. Charles Moore

Transgender Awareness Survey – Conducted by K. Charles Moore

The next week a post to Reddit along with a survey, that was also posted to Twitter and Facebook, requested users to answer three questions about transgender awareness. The first assumption was to post directly to transgender subReddits but this generated one response, that posting in a transgender subReddit would generate bias responses. This led the post to be created under a subReddit for politics and it gained much more responses. Reponses came from transgender individuals and some who might have been unsure about what being transgender means. One such responder asking, “What are transgender rights?”

Reddit Response to Transgender Awareness

Reddit Response to Transgender Awareness

With the initial posts the target audience was the community directly affected, but without engagement other audiences became the focus. Understanding an audience through engagement helps develop a new angle and answers the question, whom should the story really be affecting? In the case of transgender awareness much of the transgender community is already aware of its struggles, it is the other social communities that are unaware.

A Survey Conducted on Transgender Awareness

Transgender rights are becoming the next step in equality for all; some questions about current issues were polled through many different outlets and the results are a reflection of the current climate.

God is Still Speaking. Albuquerque, NM Pride Parade. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

God is Still Speaking. Albuquerque, NM Pride Parade. (Photo by K. Charles Moore)

A recent poll, and the one published with this article (poll has been removed but can be found here), has many calling for support and equal rights for the transgender community. In three simple questions polltakers were asked to acknowledge if they are or know anyone who identifies as transgender, if they would support a transgender friend or family member, and if they think equality is important for the transgender community. While the questions are simple, often times the answers are not.

According to a report done by the Williams Institute as of 2011 there was a reported nearly 700,000 people in the United States identifying as transgender, this is about 0.3 percent of the population at the time. Less than 20 percent of individuals taking the poll identified as transgender but 50 percent did know someone who identifies as transgender. Over 90 percent of the responders that took the survey feel that transgender equality needs to be advanced. This left a split of a little over 4 percent each, either not sure what transgender means, or thinks that the transgender community already reached equality, and one even skipped the question.

Continuing these numbers are reflected very similar in the final question about supporting a friend or family member. Over 91 percent would support them unconditionally. While it is split with a little over 4 percent each to not supporting that person, and also being upset and/or confused but ultimately supporting a friend or family member who is transgender.

Education helps promote awareness and this survey also reflects that there is a small percentage unaware of what it is to be transgender. The public and supporters will recognize what can be done in the pursuit of equality with the continued guide and education from the transgender community.