In the sixth part of this series, we meet Horace Boothroyd III. Horace followed me on Daily Kos and offered some wonderful insights and feedback on The Often Overlooked “T” in LGBTQ series. He was kind enough to talk with me and share part of his story. Horace is 43 and identifies as, “Transgender, female to male, but there is a lot more gender variance in Portland.” Regarding sexual orientation, which is different than gender identity, Horace identifies as, “Lesbian is more comfortable, but I suppose straight is more accurate.” Unlike many of the other stories, Horace had no support from his parents and has no contact with them now, “I have no contact with my parents, their derision is not going to help contribute a healthy attitutde on my part.” Horace has two children. His son lives in San Diego with Horace’s father and his daughter lives in Gresham. It was clear from the start that Horace was willing to share his story with the hope to help younger people who are transgender. Here is Horace’s story.
What age were you aware of feeling different?
Probably as a child, but this is a difficult question. My parents did a very good job of suppressing any type of gender expression. In 2000 I came out as transgender, but came out as lesbian at 21. I know from my 4th birthday, because when they asked me what I wished for and I said a penis. I had to wear a dress and my mother said I had to wear a dress because I didn’t have a penis.
What age did you decide to take action?
I was 32 when I started identifiying as transgender. I changed my identifcation on my drivers liscense and social security card—trying to pass as female was more difficult than just identifying as male. So I just changed my clothes.
Regarding Feeling Safe:
Logically I shouldn’t feel safe, but I was attacked when I used the ladies room—I had more of a negative attitude using the bathroom that my biological parts go to. I do feel safe here in Portland, but I am more cautious in large groups of people.
What do we, as the LGBT community, need to do to be more supportive?
Recognize that transgender rights are an important part of LGBT rights as a whole because when someone is being attacked for being gay or lesbian it is because they are being attacked for being gender variant—such as butch or effeminate men. There is a definite connection between misogyny and gender variance. It’s the men that do not try to meet the type of masculinity–the men that don’t accept masculinity as being socially superior that get attacked more. Everyone is unique. We all share a DNA profile and just because we all don’t conform to a certain gender we should not be ostracized. There is a reason why we have the It Gets Better Campaign, its not just society that is rejecting children, but families rejecting their children. It is important that our stories get on to Daily Kos because this is a democratic blog that does have the readership and it is vitally important that people know we do exist, or we can be easily dismissed. What goes on with us effects more than just us.
I want to thank Horace for sharing his story and to thank all of our transgender brothers and sisters for having the courage to live honestly and visibly.