As part of our on-going series profiling members of the Trans Justice Working Group, meet Ray. He explains below why this work is so important for future generations.
How long have you been part of the Trans Justice Working Group?
I have been working with the Trans Justice Working Group for almost a year, and in that year I have been part of the Trans Justice Health Care summit host committee and done a lot of work educating decision makers and business leaders.
Why do you do this work?
I do this work because I feel like every elder has fought so hard to get us to where we are today, that it takes continued passions and voices to work to make things fair for everyone. In my opinion, it just makes sense that everyone should be treated equally.
What is your background with social justice/community organizing work, and how did you start working with the Trans Justice program?
I started small with just an idea that became a movement at my old employer. We started by sharing with them the importance of adding trans inclusive healthcare. It was an incredible experience to see that it wasn’t just the people who were directly affected who were involved, but all of the people who just believed that it was the right thing to do. Those people were just as passionate and were with us the whole way through. Eventually we won inclusive healthcare for trans folks and I felt that it was an amazing victory. It made me realize that no matter how defeated you may feel, if you stay passionate and collect the important factual evidence, you should never give up and anything is possible.
Why is ending health care discrimination against trans people so important?
It personally affects me, but more importantly, I want to make sure that the people who will be in this position in the future won’t have to experience all the mental anguish and back and forth with the insurance companies. The consequences weigh so heavy on you and I would like our future generations to be able to have it easier. I believe in the philosophy that we don’t do it for us, but for the next seven generations and their well-being.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
My super power would be to fly. I would love to be able to just go somewhere without sitting through traffic and it would be so much faster and easier to see the family that I don’t see enough of.