I went to the gym for the first time in a week this evening. As I was walking past the change rooms, a shared space for both gym members and those using the awesome pool facilities, I noticed something that made me do a double take. I thought about it for a moment, and then proceeded up the stairs to the gym to do my work out. When I came back down, I stared at the change rooms again and thought for a hard minute whether or not this was a detail I had simply missed since I started working out here in January. Under the male and female designations for which direction to head into to get changed, were the words “trans people welcome.” I couldn’t believe it. This was the first time I had seen these signs in a public space, one that I frequented.
I went to the front desk and asked, your signs now say trans are welcome. Are these signs new? Both the front desk girls nodded. I asked, when did these go in? One of them responded, just this afternoon actually. I said, that’s cool.
The past couple weeks, I have had transgender youtube clips in my line of sight because I discovered a young girl by the name of Jazz Jennings who was becoming a huge American spokesperson for the transgender community. And only that afternoon before leaving work, I had found on my social media feed another coming out video of a 13 year old transgender boy. This has certainly been a rising topic, made more public now than I have ever seen it.
As I left the community center, I took a long hard look at four new posters that had gone up on the windows. These weren’t something temporary that could be ripped off, they were high quality images that were installed within the glass. Each poster showed a story of a trans person from different perspective, from men, to women, to children. Or minorities – as one of them was an Aboriginal story. The message on all these posters were: Don’t Stop and Stare. Stop and Think.
We are on the cusp of a change in history on the topic of gender identification, and it is amazing.
Meet the beautiful, energetic Jazz Jennings: