As the youth from TRANSGENERATION have shown us, each trans* person’s journey through identification and transition is unique. Access to mentors and resources for support can make a huge difference to a young person, no matter where they are in the process. But for transgender people of color whose stories often go untold, lack of visibility can lead to an even greater sense of isolation. We spoke with Sean Ebony Coleman, Executive Director of Destination Tomorrow, to shed light on the experience of a role model in the trans community of color and hear his perspective on what’s important to young trans folks today.
Storytelling has long been used as a tool for recording people’s history and to pass down wisdom from one generation to the next. But for those who aren’t considered part of society’s in-crowd, sharing personal stories takes on an even greater meaning. Telling your story and listening to narratives from ‘others’ like you, can help you feel connected and grounded in the world. It helps to know that people whose lives look like yours, have been here before and survived. Whether we’re aware of it or not, it’s instinctual for us to want the comfort of seeing our experiences reflected back. Reality TV and the web have given individuals’ voices a much wider reach. But the truth is it’s still a privileged few whose stories are chosen to be told. And unfortunately transgender folks rarely make the cut.