To the Editor:
As we struggle with the separation and the isolation of the past year, for most people, this is their first time to have encountered this. With the holidays coming up and depending on who is in your Covid bubble, or pandemic pod, this will be the first holidays apart for most people, either out of concern for an elderly relative, or immunocompromised loved one, or someone not in your pod because of their lifestyle. But that sense of separation and loss of connection with family and friends makes this feel like it will never end. Whatever your thoughts on the vaccines , it does offer a chance to end this isolation.
But there is a group of people for whom this isolation and separation have become their life because they have come out and lived their truth. So if you can remember these feelings from this year, hold on to them for now and possible future reference. Because if you have a family member who is part of the LGBTQ community, and they are not considered your family or your friend anymore, this is what this community lives each and every day, the loneliness of a holiday spent without the family support they had prior to coming out.
In the transgender community, the percentage overall of family ending a relationship is 26 percent but increases with age up to 37 percent. Add in friends, it is a whopping 50 percent that are now estranged. If you transition after the age of 35, the family rejection rate is 68 percent, and add in friends it is 81 percent that you will have no contact with after two years.
Just a little thought: the transgender community, when we finally live our truth, all that has changed is our wrapping. Like getting a birthday present wrapped in Christmas paper. Still the same gift inside, just looks a little different than what you expected, but still the same gift.