Trans rights are human rights

I am a transgender woman who lives in Madison Heights. Oh, and I am not a young person. I’m well into extended middle-age.

I’m a member of the Madison Heights community — have been for many years — where I have never felt unwelcome. We consider our community a community for all, for we all have issues and events important to our daily lives. My own are no more and no less important than any others.

Many people in this community use female pronouns for me, and that’s great. Some do not, but that’s OK, too. Using different pronouns is not a requirement. It’s a request. And I know it might not be easy, for I have apologized many times for making pronoun mistakes. People are respectful toward me, but I know that many avoid me because they are uncomfortable. It’s OK. I understand.

I believe in God, too. I believe God loves me just as much as God loves anyone and everyone. I believe God created me this way to show my Madison Heights community that what counts most is not who a person is on the outside, it’s who each is on the inside. But I respect those who disagree with my beliefs, even if I disagree with those persons.

I can’t require anyone in this community to accept the changes I’ve made to myself. Many don’t care one way or the other and consider it my business. Some tolerate my changes even though they don’t understand or agree. Many others are fully supportive. And some consider it wrong, but that’s OK, too.

My only goals are to live as who I was created to be and to survive each day.

I hope these few lines will help those persons who are too uncomfortable, or unable, to talk to a transgender person directly.

All of us in Madison Heights value differences in beliefs, in opinions, in families, and in people, for we know that love and respect are truly our guiding morals, as God shows us daily how to love and value each other.

ONNA McKLENNON

Madison Heights

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