A letter to President Obama from an 11-year-old transgender girl named Sadie has been making the rounds on the internet after the president's bold references to LGBTQ rights in his inaugural address on Monday. Sadie's mother told the Huffington Post on Tuesday, "Sadie was so proud of President Obama for including the gay community in his inaugural address on Monday; however, she felt like the trans community wasn't included. That inspired her to write her own 'speech.'"
Sadie's story certainly isn't one that's often told — but it should be. Trans children, like trans adults, are often subject to "gender policing," or the reinforcement of societal norms concerning dress, gender presentation, gendered behavior, etc., as well as bullying and harassment. Additionally, the parents of trans children often face complex choices regarding how to approach their child's identity, and whether or not to seek out any kind of treatment for gender-variant children, including hormone blockers or hormone therapy.
Vice President Joe Biden has called trans rights "the civil rights issue of our time," but the Obama administration has a way to go in fighting for them, as Sadie knows.
Sadie's letter, reproduced below, was first published in full on TransGriot.
The letter reads:
The world would be a better place if everyone had the right to be themselves, including people who have a creative gender identity and expression. Transgender people are not allowed the freedom to do things everyone else does, like go to the doctor, go to school, get a job, and even make friends.
Transgender kids like me are not allowed to go to most schools because the teachers think we are different from everyone else. The schools get afraid of how they will talk with the other kids' parents, and transgender kids are kept secret or told not to come there anymore. Kids are told not to be friends with transgender kids, which makes us very lonely and sad.
When they grow up, transgender adults have a hard time getting a job because the boss thinks the customers will be scared away. Doctors are afraid of treating transgender patients because they don't know how to take care of them, and some doctors don't really want to help them. Transgender patients like me travel to other states to see a good doctor.
It would be a better world if everyone knew that transgender people have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. We like to make friends and want to go to school. Transgender people want to get good jobs and go to doctors like they are exactly the same. It really isn't that hard to like transgender people because we are like everyone else.