P.A.R.C. Mag Issue # 5 - Page 24

P.A.R.C. Mag: Since your transition, what has life been like for you? Meaning with the new president how do you feel about these major changes being done to the LGBTQ community and the dismantling of individual freedoms and inequality? (public bathrooms, marriage, gay rights).

Emily: "I've been out since I was seventeen and I felt much safer with Obama as our president. Life has been difficult transitioning and learning a lot about who I really am. About the new president, I feel scared. I absolutely hate Donald Trump and his dismantling of individual freedoms and his inequality stance is completely deplorable. Every transgender person should be able to use the bathroom they identify with without facing discrimination. I believe that love is love and, love knows no boundaries, gay marriage needs to remain legal. I myself being bisexual may very well fall in love with a girl and I would want to get married without it being illegal."

P.A.R.C. Mag: How have friends and family treated you during this transitional phase of your life? Do you find it more difficult now with them accepting than then?

Emily: "All my "friends" that knew me before I came out don't know. I didn't tell them because I know how they'd react. I heard quite a few of them say that transgender people would go to hell and needed conversation therapy and that they had mental problems. Now I have new friends, friends who accept me for who I am. I never even have to see my old friends again. My family has been completely accepting of me. My mom is the most supportive of me of all of them. My dad didn't understand it right away, but soon he understood. It took awhile for him to stop misgendering me, but now he never makes that mistake. The rest of my family is supportive, but I don't think my grandfather is at all. Over time them accepting has become less difficult. Coming out to them was scary, I'm scared of being discriminated upon. I've already been harassed online for it."

P.A.R.C. Mag: Have you been able to help others or speak up for the cause? I see that you're active on social media sharing and posting some of your feelings towards some of these political actions on Facebook. What would you say to someone in a similar situation? What advice would you give them?

Emily: "I have helped others on Facebook. I have a few friends who came out to me first as being transgender. I was there for them and did my best to help them through the process. For someone in a similar situation, I'd say, "Don't let others tell you how to live or how to be. Do, and be what makes you truly happy. And remember that there is love in this world, always love.” I have also helped them talk to their parents including writing letters to them and offering my support."