>>CORRECTION: This article misidentified Carolyn Marie and Jason as Vice when in fact their last name is Weis. It also used the term “transgendered,” when it should have said transgender man or woman. “Transgendered” implies either a noun; “A transgendered person” which denotes an affliction or emphasis on solely trans as an identifier, or a verb; “Sam transgendered” which denotes either a choice of identity or a mis-characterization of the process of affirming identity correctly known as transitioning. Transgender is an adjective denoting a descriptive of a noun. In practice, the correct usage is transgender (or trans) man or woman, or trans person.
Three transgendered people and their loved ones spoke of the different experiences they have had and how transitioning together after their loved ones came out as transgendered, Tuesday for Trans Awareness Week.
The speakers included Marsha Aizumi, Aiden Aizumi, Carolyn Marie Weis, Jason Weis, and Cadence Valentine.
Attendees heard personal stories of the situations that some speakers went through before they were able to come out and identify themselves as being transgendered. As well as stories of how their loved ones dealt with the transition process.
Aizumi came out as a lesbian sophomore year of high school and then in 2008 came out to his mother as being transgendered. He likened his journey of self-discovery to matching the shapes in the right cut outs like a puzzle and said that when he began transitioning he felt guilty.
“I felt that maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough to be normal. I felt that I was being very selfish because I was trying to do this change and not considering my family,” he said.
Aizumi, author of “Two Spirits, One Heart” spoke of the journey she took from feeling sad and fearful to where she is today providing her son with unconditional love and acceptance.
As her voice began to break she told the story of why Halloween had been her son’s favorite holiday because it was the one day that he could dress up as himself and no one would make fun of him.
Aizumi spoke of her coming out process as a parent of a lesbian and then a transgendered son, and how as an Asian mother she felt like she was dishonoring her family.
“In the beginning I had to go through a lot of soul searching. I had to overcome my shame as a parent,” she said. “I had to be committed to my son no matter how he looked like.”
Vice spoke of how she would raid her mother’s closet to dress up when she was a teen. Later on in life she would pretend that she was only a cross dresser and believed that if she fell in love then love would cure her.
She ended up meeting a woman and got married but years later the thoughts began to resurface.
“I had to do something. I had to give myself the chance to be the person I was meant to be,” she said.
After admitting to herself that she was and always had been transgendered she had to tell her wife, who after going through the different stages of grief decided that she would try to cope with it.
Despite having fears of losing the love and respect of her son she decided to tell him. After hearing what she had to say, her son Jason gave her a hug and asked how his mom was doing.
Valentine, Pride Center peer mentor and junior psychology major, spoke about the moment that she came out to her partner who was very supportive throughout the transition process.
After coming out Valentine, who had had a close relationship with her partner’s parents lost those relationships. She said that her mother is still trying to accept it and her father dismisses the whole situation.
Still she reminded attendees of how lucky she and the other speakers were to have the support of their loved ones through the transition process.
“We are a rarity in this experience…many people in the Trans community don’t have that support,” she said. “(Trans) need your love and support. You just have to be there for them.”