Yasmeen – (Resilience)

Yasmeen – (Resilience)


It had been 6 or 7 years since I started promoting
trans access and working with the trans community to provide services and I was tired and overwhelmed. In my work as a trans-trainer, there were
many moments where I felt a sense of frustration and had no access to services, no changes
were going to be made. It seemed like nothing mattered. But after
the training, people would come up to me and say how inspiring I was to them. How I made
them think differently now about what trans-access meant. It was these people and the resilient transgendered
people in my community that kept me going. That gave me support and the space to make
a difference. It had always inspired me to continue. But one day, it just wasn’t enough. I got a letter in the mail telling me I had
won an award. You would think I would be happy, but it didn’t matter. Why should I care about
another award? I thought. I didn’t take it seriously. I couldn’t. When
the day of the award ceremony came, I still didn’t feel any different. It was a hot summer
day, I had to take the subway all the way to the east end of the city. I dreaded having
to go there. But I got two tokens and was on my way. Then the subway was late, the streetcar broke
down, and the bus never came. I climbed in a cab When I walked into the gala, I was
surprised! It was spectacular. When they finally called my name, Dr. Sonia read a biography
of me. As I heard the words, the reality really sunk
in. What a huge moment it was. Here I was in the presence of great activists, people
who were making such a difference in the community, and I was one of them. Winning the award really validated who I was
as a person and the work I do, giving a voice to a community as a whole. I might have been tired then, but I’m not
now. I, out there, still working on living in the community, still giving thanks to my
family, friends and community leaders who I admire and who have helped me to overcome any obstacles I may face. I have hope that my work will change the way
people think about transgendered people in terms of access to services. I have hope the
work I will do will help others, and make the same difference in their lives as I have
had in mine.

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