Last year TIME Magazine sat down with Laverne Cox, the American transgender woman who stars in the Netflix drama Orange Is the New Black, and they called the article “The Transgender Tipping Point.” If 2014 was tipping towards trans visibility, 2015 showed America that visibility of transgender folks was now on an upswing.
In January, President Obama condemned the persecution of “people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,” becoming the first president to utter the word in a State of the Union address. “Transparent,” about an aging father who begins living as a woman, won two top awards at the Golden Globes. The May issue of Vogue has a photo spread with transgender model Andreja Pejic. Transgender activist and YouTube star Jazz Jennings debut her TLC show this summer. And, of course, this is the year when Bruce Jenner announced his transition into Caitlyn.
“We are at a social inflection point on transgender issues,” says Riki Wilchins, a former transgender activist and author of three books on queer theory, who believes all the attention could have a positive impact. “Civil rights for minorities come in fits and starts. We’re on an upswing now.”
Trans activists agree there’s still a long way to go before transgender people stop facing discrimination…or worse. They also realize that the majority of Americans know very little about the transgender people, their lives, and their stories.
Consider these two courses from Metropolitan Community Churches about the transgender community and begin your own journey of understanding: