When the Leelah Alcorn story broke, I didn't even read it. In the last twelve years or so that I've been involved in the GLBT community I've read dozens of stories about trans people committing suicide. Almost every trans person I know has attempted it or at least seriously thought about it and a few of the girls from various message boards I've been apart of have killed themselves (those are just the ones I've found out about). I thought some of my more lefty friends would post about Leelah, and then it would just kind of fade from people's attention, but her story has been flooding my facebook feed. It's not just my radical lefty friends, but people from all areas of my life—even professional colleagues that don't know I'm trans—have been moved and upset her story.
In more positive news, this is also the year that Laverne Cox was on the cover of Time Magazine. Transparent, a show written by someone who actually has a trans parent, was a huge critical success (they've also hired a trans woman writer for the second season). Camp Aranu'tiq a summer camp for trans kids, had a record number of campers and was able to buy their own property.
I know that this has been building for awhile with Janet Mock and Laura Jane Grace coming out and the success of the first season of Orange is the New Black, but it feels like there's really been a shift from people being simply being aware and tolerant of us to actively speaking out in supporting trans people. It seems like mainstream liberals have moved to where radical liberals were (you really are your transitioned gender and we support you), moderates have shifted to where mainstream liberals were (do whatever makes you happy) and even some conservatives have shifted to where moderates were (what people do with there own lives is none of my business) when I first started.
After all this time, it is a little weird to be the topic du jour. Sometimes it feels a little shallow and bandwagony and I have have feelings of "where were you guys when I was struggling" and "why weren't you listening to us before?" but the cumulative effect of all this attention is that the world is becoming a nicer place for me to live. It's easier for me to get the healthcare I need, I'm more comfortable with people knowing I'm trans and I'm not as scared of personal and professional consequences if my history becomes widely known.
Now, if only more guys my own age could get comfortable with the idea of dating a trans woman, I'd be all set*...
*sorry to end on a bit of a downer, but that is definitely the world we are still living in.