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.
My whiteness, economic privilege, able-bodied privilege, family support, and so many other factors shield me from some of the worst possible consequences - often fatal ones - that result from the toxic combination of misogyny, racism, and anti-trans sentiment.
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.
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.
A life in pursuit of position or power is not a life well-lived or in service to others.
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.