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Our Turn: Trans people need a place for support

As a person who identifies as a transgender man, I am always thinking about my emotional and physical safety every day—whenever I leave my house, go online, or answer the phone. I have to be on high alert from the time I get out of bed until I go to sleep as I never know truly if I am in a place that is safe for me.

It is exhausting but essential, and it is something a transgender person deals with every day of their lives.

Being transgender can also come with many barriers—potential discrimination at work and school or from landlords; possible rejection from family and friends; struggles to make sure our identity is secured; and having to navigate a system that is still very binary. And all these barriers can be even more complicated if one is not out to the world yet.

It can be daunting to just think about all these things, much less actually having to move through these challenges when you’ve also experienced sexual assault or domestic violence.

For transgender people who have survived being sexually assaulted or experienced domestic violence, either before they transitioned or since, the world is a much more unsafe place. Not only do we have to worry about the usual safety concerns, but we now can no longer trust people who are supposed to love and care about us.

Where can we go for support? Where can we feel safe?

Domestic violence prevention centers like Turning Points Network (TPN) offer their services to anyone, including transgender men. The staff here can help you find the assistance you need—protective orders, reporting assistance, court advocacy, emotional support, transitional housing, and much more.

If you’re a transgender person and you’ve experienced sexual assault or domestic violence, you don’t have to face it alone. TPN is a non-judgmental place where you’ll be respected for wherever you are in your life and however that might look.

OUR TURN is a public service series by Turning Points Network (TPN) serving all of Sullivan County with offices in Claremont and Newport. We provide wraparound supports for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and sex trafficking and we present violence-prevention education programs in our schools. For more than 40 years, TPN has helped people of all ages move toward living with respect, healing, and hope that we all deserve. We can be reached 24/7 on our crisis and support line at (800) 639-3130. Between 9-4 Monday-Friday, we are available on our chatline at www.turningpointsnetwork.org or by text at (603)506-6553.

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