End Transgender Violence: A Story and Prayer
My Sister Ivy
My sister Ivy was born in 1983 ten years my senior. She had beautiful tea browned hair which trailed her spine to her hips. Ivy told me one time she wanted silver blue highlights because they brought out her eyes. It did. Beautiful, bold, and oval eyes. If Ivy had flirted with you, you'd wouldn't have missed her squint and thin lips pull up to kiss you. I loved my sister. She was so beautiful. Her looks. Her personality. Her soul.
Ivy died in 2008. I received a call from authority with who said: "your sister was hit by a car." I paused. No, I shook my head. That's not what happened; I know what really happened. They say all beauty has its flaws.
I wonder what it would be like if I were born without genitals. Really. Would I have a different personality? I think I am a girl. I have ovaries, vagina, and breasts. I can even sing soprano and have Barbie Dolls in my closet; well, I used to when I was a kid.
So, what is my point?
Who are we as humans?
Are we just what is between our legs?
Do we have some sort of an identity that makes us, us?
Now it's the time in my life where I search for meaning. Ivy's death revealed to me how our society defines humanity. Its influence kills the souls of people just because of what is between our legs.
Gender definition: Gender is the state of being male or female in relation to the social and cultural roles. -Gender definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
Defining our identity
There is a condition called Ambiguous Genitalia (also known as atypical genitalia) that "is a birth defect (or birth variation) of the sex organs that makes it unclear whether an affected newborn is a girl or boy. Mild forms of ambiguous genitalia may be characterized by a large (penis-like) clitoris in baby girls or undescended testicles in boys.1 An estimated 1 in 2,000 children born each year are neither boy nor girl -- they are intersex, part of a group of about 60 conditions that fall under the diagnosis of disorders of sexual development (DSD)2".
Who decides who's a boy or girl?
Our society's general consensus is that the parents and doctors should decide who the child is based on their sex. If they decided to make him a boy, he would "be" a boy. If they made her a girl, she would "be" a girl. This shows that our society thinks who we are is determined by our sex.That's just. False. We are not our body.
Since we are not our body, how do we educate society about sex and gender?
How do we dispel misconceptions about identity?
In short, I would tell them to ask themselves the question I asked myself earlier: What if I did not have genitals? Who would I be? Would my personality change?
To answer my own question, if I were stripped off what society says makes me a boy or girl, I would still be me. Instead of flesh, I am a soul or a unit of passions and expression. I am spirit the act of expression. I "am" not a boy. I "am" not a girl. I'm just me.
That is the common thread I see in transgender: we are not our body
I rushed into the emergency room at Saint Mathews General Hospital* and practically screamed at the first nurse who passed my direction. The nurse frowned in frustration and gave me the update of my sister's condition. We went to room five intensive care.
"Oh my god," I whispered when I saw her. Ivy's hair that once was silken brown had been knotted in blood and dried out tears. Her cheeks heaved in and her bone of her gum protrude from it. She wore a cast on her left arm and doubled over moaning in pain. "I'm here," I held her hand. IVs dripped. The heart monitor beeped. I touched her bangs. She finally got her highlights.
On Tuesday, October 4th at 2:00 a.m, Ivy passed away. She had a punctured liver and collapse lung.
What I didn't say was why she died. I will tell you.
You see. My sister was transgender. She was born biologically a male and transitioned to be who she has always been, a beautiful female of 34 years old. The night of her death, she returned from work to a family who still never accepted her. To make a long story short, her father beat her to death: "What you've done to yourself is an abomination!" He said. Ivy's mother whispered, "love the sinner not the sin."
Ivy isn't the only one abused and murdered by loved ones and strangers; our society is guilty of the same crimes. We harm the souls of transgender individuals; and, they fear for their lives because of our hate. I believe society is ignorant because of our individual theologies and biases blind us to love that exists among our differences. The soul of society is corrupted with anger from an unrepentant past. It's the spirit of society with whom does not feel the need to meditate on how its actions affect its own citizens.
My sister Ivy. She is a gorgeous woman in soul, in spirit, in mind, and in body.
I love you sis,
Written for my brother, family members, and LGBTQ like myself and their loved ones who share in empathy and/or experiences as victims of violence.
Sarah McBride Ted Talk
Please lend us your prayers and thoughts to LGBTQ who are subject to violence as well as for their loved ones. With your prayers, I hope LGBTQ who read this knows that people are thinking of them and they are not alone.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.