Equal Portrait #12 Parker

Parker for Equal

Q: What do you identify as?

A: I'm a queer transman

Q: What does being queer transman in America mean to you?

A: being a queer transman in America means I face a lot of discrimination and opposition for simply existing, but unlike living in some other countries, at least I have the option to transition. It's scary watching a vehemently anti-lgbtq presidential administration give power to the voices of so many ignorant and hateful citizens. It's scary seeing, each day, hate crimes not just against gay men, but alas trans women (specifically of color) on the rise. It's depressing and very stressful to be a queer transman in America right now. I don't have a lot of legal protections that other minorities do. I could legally be fired or evicted on the basis of my identity, not to mention all of the constant bombardment of hate speech..

q: we all know there is a sexual orientation inequality problem in American... how do you think we should go about solving it?

a: America's issue of inequality when it comes to sexuality can only be solved through education, activism, and time, and that's the only way I believe we'll be able to address racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other social inequalities. Living out loud, for those of us who aren't straight, and for allies to be publically and loudly supportive. Rallies, protests, calling our elected representatives and voting. Our allies have the most power to help change our country and it is their voices that homophobes are more likely to listen to, not ours.

q: What does religion mean to you?

a: Religion really doesn't mean much to me personally, as an athiest. I was raised very conservatively Christian, almost in a cult, but I never really connected with any of it. My participation was due to the social pressure of fitting in and needing to please others. Once I got out I was able to explore other concepts and was able to look at religion analytically and with an open mind and I completely get why some people, like my mom, are religious. They need to be told how to think and act to function in this big scary world. I'm just not like that. There are a lot of people who aren't religious, but also believe in one or multiple gods. That's also not me at all, I haven't experienced the world that way at all. There is no proof in existance to make me question if there is a god. For me, it's not a question of "why I don't believe in a god" it's a question of "why do you believe in a god". Had every person on this planet been raised without religion and without being told to believe in a god I would be the one asking a logical question, but instead religion and God have become such a huge part of societies and cultures that my question seems the weird one. Why would I believe in something that I've never once believed existed for myself?

I was taught to believe in him, but you can't teach a belief, you can only condition and brainwash. There is nothing in this world, nothing in my life experience or the experiences of any others that leaves me questioning if there is a god. As a queer transman, religion is an enemy because the majority of religions teach the individual to repress their humanity, their realness, their uniqueness. Religion really fucked me up and even worse, it's kept my parents from being able to help me and get me the help I needed as I was beginning to form my self identity in middle and high school. As an adult, religion has kept family from living and accepting me. Religion is why we have homophobia and transphobia. Religion is why trans and gay people get murdered. Not in the "in killing you for God" sense but because discrimination is preached from the pulpit, and church is also a society. When you want to belong in a culture you get heavily invested in the values and beliefs of the culture and that breeds ignorance.