Author’s note: This story is 100% true. To protect the identity of my friend, her name has been changed to Pamela. This could be any trans woman who seeks assistance from a mental health facility, however. This discusses institutionalized transmisogyny, gaslighting, misgendering, and transphobia. Appropriate trigger warnings apply.
I came home from running errands to three voicemails on my phone which I left charging on the nightstand. Her tone went steadily from slightly annoyed to panicked and tearful. Just before arriving I received a text reading: “They are about to declare me 5150 because I’m asking to be released and they won’t let me go.” Continue reading →
TransEthics: When you first came out as transgender, how did your friends and family react?
Jelena Vermilion: When I first came out as Trans, my folks and family were decently accepting. They all had their own biases and preconceptions about trans people, so obviously it wasn’t perfect. I can say they’ve tried to learn and understand those things. I also think that given who I was growing up, they sort of expected something like it, given my nature.
I was a pretty interesting kid… I played with dolls, read books, built things, destroyed things, did puzzles, watched Sailor Moon, etc… Without giving too much credence to the binary, I was deemed pretty “feminine” growing up by mainstream cis standards. I was very sensitive. I cried a lot growing up, and I always seemed to get picked on. I imagine my parents thought I would be gay before they thought I would be a girl. Continue reading →
TransEthics: How long have you been in Game-related journalism?
Briana Wu: A lot of people don’t know this about me, but my background is in journalism, specifically investigative journalism. But most of my work was in in crime and local reporting. I do write game related op-eds as part of my job these days, but I see myself as more of a developer than a journalist.
I think if you look at who has the power to change the industry in historic terms, game journalists don’t have as much as developers. Yes, they get to communicate about their tastes to a wide audience, but ultimately they are commenting on other people’s work. To me, the act of creating is much more interesting than commenting. Continue reading →
Most of you have probably noticed that I haven’t posted an interview since early July. Shortly after that, I began writing articles for TransGlobal Magazine, so I put TransEthics on the back burner for a while. Then it happened: I had a complete breakdown. For reasons I shan’t fully disclose, my PTSD got the best of me. There was one week when I did little but cry and sleep. I just couldn’t function at all. It was a beautiful Summer weather-wise, but in my world it was a long, dark, wet winter. I couldn’t stop it. Dysphoria had its way with me, and I could do very little.
Then just I’m coming out of this dark period, my roommate informs me that we’ve been served with an eviction notice. I’m going to be homeless soon. A friend of mine has offered me a place in Virginia. The hardest part will be getting there, Car needs new tires (especially since there’s a good chance of encountering snow in the passes) and gas isn’t cheap for a cross-country trip in a 20 year-old car. A GoFundMe page has been set up and I hope to get what I need to avoid becoming another homeless trans woman.
So to you, my loyal readers, I apologize for not having my shit together. I’ve been trying to be active on Twitter (@TransEthics), but my personal issues have been unwilling to go away. I’m going to pick up this project again once I get settled in Virginia. Too many important things have been happening outside the problems in my mind for this project to fade away. I will be back interviewing soon. I just need a little more time.
Please consider making a donation (either via this page, or the GoFundMe) so I can get to where I need to be, and then I can begin interviewing all those wonderful trans people again. No amount is too small.