At thirteen years of age, I came out as transgendered. It was also my first year at summer camp. The directors refused to let me stay in a boys’ cabin because my body is not that of a male. I was ecstatic about camp, even though my anxiety was skyrocketing.
One day, our camp had “carnival,” an activity where each cabin has an activity that the other cabins could join in. I spotted one of my bunkmates’ boyfriend, Chad. He, with no regret, loudly exclaimed to everybody in the area, “HEY! THAT’S THE HE-SHE!”
When I saw him the next day, walking around camp with my bunkmate, I said to him, “Hey, you owe me an apology.” He apologized, and I forgave him.
My bunkmate came up to me while I was watching the fireworks on Independence Day.
“Don’t ever talk to my boyfriend again, you faggot!”
I was shocked.
“If you pull something like that again, I swear I’ll…”
I figured that she’d walk away at that point. She didn’t. She took her hand, and whacked me across the face, and then walked off into the woods, while I sat there, on Independence Day, crying.
What I experienced on that day was prejudice, but nothing like what other transsexuals experience every day: abuse, abandonment, and murder. This is the reason that, every year, my family and I celebrate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, to commemorate those who lost their lives to prejudice.