Rebecca's Story: A Tale of Two Planets

Rebecca's Story: A Tale of Two Planets

October is LGBT History Month. To honor transgender people and their unique histories, I will be featuring transgender people and parents of transgender children all month long. Through sharing their stories, I hope to raise awareness of this amazing population of people who still struggle for basic human rights. 

By Rebecca Sennoma, a trans woman from Youngstown, Ohio

When I think of outer space I think it must be a lot like Youngstown, Ohio. Very few signs of life, and any that you see are potential threats. Last week a dog came running at me. I turned to face the dog and started putting my hand down to befriend him, but he was not having any of it. He bit me on the foot, then the dog's caretaker called him back inside.

When the dog was back in, I spent a few moments deciding whether to approach his caretaker. There had been a wave of violence against transgender people, and if I was going to get murdered anywhere, this would be one of the top places. I decided to walk up to him anyway. His reaction was, "What?"

"Your dog bit me," I said.

"Yeah," he tersely replied. "I usually keep him on a leash. You ain't bleeding, man."

I winced at the word "man." I always do. Regardless of what I go through: rape, homelessness, meth addiction... it's always the little things that hurt the most.

"Just be more careful," I warned him. "Your dog could break someone's skin next time, and they would go right to the hospital and send you the bill plus emotional damages. A lot of people around here feel that's a great way to get ahead in life."

"OK, thanks man," was his response. I rolled my eyes and walked away. All I really have to do, I thought, is get down to Washington, D.C., head to a bar, get drunk and make friends with some guys who look like they're having a good time. Make out with a few, get them to give me some of that little glass-like stuff that I love so much.

"She's Tony Montana's wife," I remember one such guy saying. "Tina."

And then I'll be back on earth again, in the middle of civilization, on top of America, on top of the world, on top of the universe. All I need to do is get on a bus, and I'm there.

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 Special thanks to Mary Tyler Mom who inspired this unique and beautiful way of honoring LGBT History Month.

photo credit: Planet via photopin (license)

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