An 11-year-old transgender girl named Sadie has written to President Barack Obama asking why he did not mention transgender Americans in his inaugural speech. The letter, which was published in full at the website TransGriot, urged Obama to include transgender people in his future addresses, along with the lesbian and gay Americans he mentioned in the speech.
In the letter, titled “Sadie’s Dream for the World,” Sadie outlined the difficulties faced by transgender people in our ostensibly free society.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
Sadie, who, according to Huffington Post, began transitioning in kindergarten, continued by saying, “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.”
Her mother, Sage, home-schooled Sadie until this year, when she enrolled in public school as a fifth grader. Sage said that although her daughter has faced discrimination, she “isn’t shy or ashamed of who she is.”
She added, “I’m always ‘on’ when we go out because I never know when she’ll strike up a conversation with the person in front of her in line at Trader Joe’s. When she chats with people, she introduces herself as, ‘Hi, I’m Sadie, my favorite color is pink, I’m vegan, and I’m transgender. Who are you?’”
Sadie said she listens to Lady Gaga, Pink and Justin Bieber. She supports Greenpeace and efforts to “protect the environment.” She hopes to someday be a mother.
Sage said she encouraged Sadie to write the letter because “it might help empower her and overcome any feelings of oppression.”
“My dream for her is that she will be happy,” she said. “That’s all, really. I just want her to be happy.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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