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Using storytelling to foster empathy

Transgender rights are having a moment. Transgender people have existed since the beginning of time, but they’ve often been afraid to tell their stories. Now, they’re afraid not to.

TransLivesCollageWith every step forward in trans equality — and there have been many of late — there continues to be a backlash that is bred through ignorance and fear.

Anti-equality crusaders are using a simple, yet sadly effective, strategy: Take advantage of a lack of awareness about what being transgender really means to incite bigotry and vitriol.

Telling the stories of transgender people is one way to break through the ignorance and fear, to create understanding and empathy. I’m writing an ongoing series of profiles about the lives of transgender people, which you can read over at Eclectablog.

I was pleased to pen a post for the ACLU of Michigan blog talking about my experience with this series, and the trans people who have generously shared their stories with honesty and courage. The fact is that transgender people want the same things everyone else does: to be loved, to be valued, to be understood. As more people learn this simple truth, they will come to realize that transgender people deserve the same rights as every other American.

Read my post at the ACLU of Michigan blog.

[Photo collage courtesy of the ACLU of Michigan.]

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