COMMENTARY: Transgender People of Color and Domestic Violence

Gay Voices (The Huffington Post)
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January 28, 2013

Domestic violence is a crime in which one person asserts physical power over another individual for the purpose of controlling or dominating that person. As I engage in the legal system to fight for the rights of transgender individuals, I find that many transgender prisoners, especially transgender prisoners of color, are in personal relationships that are violent and abusive. In the pursuit of trying to find love and happiness, many transgender people accept physical abuse as love. The main reason I wrote my memoir, I Rise, was to educate and enlighten others about the transgender journey and the many obstacles that we have to overcome just to survive. The transformation process requires great courage and determination against objections from family, friends and associates. Once the transformation process begins, there is a rebuilding of self-esteem that requires transgender people to relearn to accept themselves in their new body. If the transgender individual opts to go on a hormone regimen, that begins to change the body and its outward physical appearance, causing the individual to have to change their perception of self and rebuild their self-esteem in their new body.