I would take issue with the assertion that President Trump has reached out to a diverse group for his cabinet secretaries. In fact, his cabinet is one of the least diverse in modern history.
I remember, as a child, lying in my bed at night praying that I would wake up the next day and be a girl, to be my authentic self, and to just have my family be proud of me. I remember looking into the mirror struggling to say just two words, 'I'm transgender.'
Trump's campaign is not a collection of ignorant statements. It is a candidacy of hate and fear that poses serious risks to people of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and LGBTQ people.
The first time I heard the word 'transgender' had been in a sitcom episode that mocked the potential for cisgender people to find people like me attractive. Every time someone expressed any interest in the gorgeous trans guest character - her identity still a secret to most of the main characters in the show - the laugh track would cue.
Whenever you tell a group of people that they can't use bathrooms, or they can't access spaces that other people use, that is dehumanizing. It is discriminatory, and it reinforces the stigma and the prejudices that the transgender community already faces.
I grew up in an upper-income household, in an accepting environment, and with incredible educational opportunities.
Trans issues are also environmental issues. They're also healthcare issues. They're also national security issues.
Instead of moving backward, we should expand opportunity and protections by repealing hateful laws and passing comprehensive LGBT nondiscrimination laws at the local, state, and federal level.
Too often, when transgender people die, family members or funeral homes will end up dressing a body of a transgender person in the garments of the gender that they were assigned at birth instead of their gender identity. They're often dead-named and misgendered.
For me, having a gender identity that was different from my sex assigned at birth and that wasn't seen by society felt like a constant feeling of homesickness - that unwavering ache in the pit of my stomach.
When gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals come out, their friends and families, for the most part, understand what it feels like to love and to lust. Cisgender people have more of a challenge when it comes to transgender identities. I discovered that analogy of homesickness in conversations with my parents, in trying to bridge that empathy divide.
I think it's really difficult for folks that aren't transgender to really wrap their mind around the feeling of having a gender identity that differs from their sex assigned at birth. But for me, it felt like a constant feeling of homesickness.
Like all women, my path to womanhood is unique. No two paths are the same. Each of us travel with different privileges, challenges, and perspectives - some limiting, others illuminating.
There is no one-size-fits-all narrative; everyone's path winds in different ways.
In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It's when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it's almost incomprehensible.
We certainly hope that Secretary DeVos will work on behalf of every student and ensure equal access to a safe and quality education for LGBTQ young people.
A life in pursuit of position or power is not a life well-lived or in service to others.
During my sophomore year at American University, I was elected president of the student body. At the same time, I was struggling with my identity and whether or not to come out as transgender.
Trump's appointed extremist judges to the federal bench, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose decisions demonstrate a judicial philosophy far more concerned with the rights of corporations than marginalized Americans.
For some, the fear of coming out is so great, they can continue to live an inauthentic life. But at a certain point, the pain becomes too much to bear. For me, having one more day pass by where I wasn't living my true self seemed like such a wasted opportunity, such a wasted life.