KATHY: We're jumping into your podcast feeds because...man it has been a week.
TOBIN: Yes yes it has. So if you hadn't heard there's been a lot of news about the Trump administration's stance on trans rights in the U.S. The New York Times reported on a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services saying that a person's gender should be determined by genitalia at birth. Basically says the Government shouldn't recognize the legal existence of trans and gender nonconforming people.
KATHY: There's also been news that the Justice Department doesn't think federal law protects trans workers against discrimination.
TOBIN: So understandably a lot of you had feelings. I know Kathy and I were just sort of sad and angry all week.
TOBIN: And we heard from a lot of you that you were also frustrated and scared. Especially our trans and gender nonconforming Nancy family. So we decided to ask for voicemails from all of you. Telling us what you were feeling and what you wish cisgender people would be aware of in this moment.
KATHY: We’ll be back with a whole new episode on Monday about the battle over trans rights in Massachusetts...but for now, here’s some of the messages we received.
VOICEMAIL 1: Hi Tobin, Kathy and all the folks at Nancy. I've never sent in a in a voice memo before so I hope I'm doing this right.
VOICEMAIL 1: I am a 41 year old gender fluid person.
JAE: My name is Jae and I'm a transmasculine nonbinary person, three months on T.
JONAH: Hi my name is Jonah and I think I just might be a trans guy.
JAE: I want cis-people to know that when I read the news I cried before bed wondering how I could possibly tell my parents what I've been going through. I want cis people to know that I'm out to everyone at school, at work, my friends, my boyfriend. Everyone, except for my family. I talked to my parents a few days ago and my voice is starting to sound different because it's changing on T and they finally noticed. They asked me if I have a cold and I lied and said yes. It hurts that I feel like I can't tell them the truth.
VOICEMAIL 1: I've known that I was trans although I did not know the word trans since I was 4 which is when people started telling me there is no way that I could be a boy and a girl and both and neither. Even though I had a very clear concept that that was my experience.
VOICEMAIL 2: I feel scared and sad and angry. I want to tell everyone to do something.
VOICEMAIL 3: I'm not necessarily worried about the legal implications but more about the socio-political ones. I'm feeling the same fear I felt when 45 was elected and I looked like a brown person. I'm Southeast Asian.
VOICEMAIL 4: This is just yet another day where my anxiety and depression are exacerbated by this administration. I cried so much thinking about how my country seems to hate me now. Today it's been hard. Just as hard as the memories and flashbacks I had to endure during the Kavanaugh hearings. I'm in such pain right now but I can't avoid it because I teach government for a living.
VOICEMAIL 5: I just keep thinking about two summers ago when the tweets about the trans military ban. I had this moment where I realized that what those tweets did was that they kind of took the things that I feared most about myself and made them public. Like, trans people are expensive and trans people are a burden and those are like the feelings that keep me up at night. You know like feeling like I am a burden to the people that I love.
JONAH: What I have to say is that as much as trans visibility is important. Cis ally visibility is super important as well. Don't just ask for pronouns, give your pronouns first when introducing yourself and try to normalize the culture of inclusively. Breakthrough the momentary awkwardness of being visible and then empathize with the strain of being constantly visible because that's the strain that trans people face every day.
VOICEMAIL 2: Follow Trans Lifeline LAMBDA legal, National Center for Transgender Equality. Donate to them. Buy art by trans people. Buy books by trans people and read them. Say I care about you. You matter to me.
JAE: I wish that cis-people would realize just how many people in America this policy would affect. Nearly 2 million people is not an insignificant number.
VOICEMAIL 1: Not only won't we be erased. But we can't be erased. There will always be new trans people in the world because transness is something that just happens. That means that no matter what is done to us new trans people will arise and speak our truths again.
VOICEMAIL 3: Just look out for your trans friends and stand with them. It's never been easy but I'm not going to back down.