Ray

Manassas, VA

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My name is Ray. I am 48 years old and I recently graduated with a Masters in Community Agency Counseling from George Mason University.  I’ve been a home owner for 30 years, was a certified personal accountant, and own a small government contracting firm. I love board games, murder mysteries, my partner, and my three dogs.  I am also a transgender man.

 

At the age of five my parents took me to a doctor because I kept insisting I was a boy.  They were told to ignore me every time I engaged in masculine behavior and only praise me for feminine accomplishments.  I don’t blame them, they were just doing what the doctor ordered.  It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I discovered transgender people exist and was able to affirm the gender I always knew I was.  One of the reasons I work with LGBT youth is because I never want them to experience the shame, anxiety, and suppression of self that I did.

 

Non-discrimination protections in public accommodations are an urgent issue for this community. I have been denied services at doctor’s offices because I am transgender, even though I called ahead of time to ensure they could meet my needs.  I have anxiety every time I have to visit a new medical office for fear of being rejected.  During my admittance to a hospital in D.C. for spinal surgery, the nurse at the check-in refused to acknowledge my assigned sex and I had to get the hospital administrators involved to ensure the surgical staff was prepared should complications arise.  No one should have to deal with that amount of additional stress before such an invasive medical procedure.

 

For my personal safety and that of the hospital staff, we need to get these protections in place.  We’re all humans and part of this diverse world.  Who wouldn’t want to support the equal treatment of everyone?