In December 2015, I gave what would be the first of many talks across the state of North Dakota. Even though this was a continuation of a series of talks I'd given in Alabama and Georgia, this was, though I didn't know it at the time, the start of this foundation. This one talk led to a series of invitations which took me all across the state of North Dakota and Minnesota. On these journeys, I had the chance to meet with transgender people in some of our region's most rural places. The common theme of their stories was a sense of isolation and separation from the support available to transgender people in larger communities.
To fill the need many of these people had, namely a lack of support, I worked with many of my friends and colleagues to create MyTransitionPartner.com from the very basic list of resources I had available on my personal website. Today, this website helps an average of 50 people every day.
In January, we begin our third year of helping transgender people become a better version of who they have always been. Our theme for 2018, is Never Alone, and our annual goals will focus on increasing the level of support we offer online to transgender people who live in rural communities. While we will be unveiling these goals at our annual meeting in January, I can say that part of this year's plan is to increase the number of articles we have on MyTransitionPartner.com, improve usability and access, and add new features to help connect transgender individuals and their loved ones to real-time support.
While spending all of this time and money on a website may seem like a slight waste of resources, I was reminded today of just how important having support, in the many forms it takes, is to the wellbeing of a transgender person. As a transgender woman, I "pass" pretty well. In fact, if I don't say anything about my gender identity, most people don't realize that I am transgender. Today, while working in a rural community for my "day job" (i.e., not for the Foundation), I was publicly humiliated by a stakeholder in the place where I was working. This person essentially derailed my presentation to ask if I was a man or a woman.
This doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does it really hurts me. Because of where I was and what I was doing I could not defend myself as I typically would. In that moment I felt isolated, ugly, stupid, and worthless. The old demon of self-loathing started to creep in. Here I was in rural Alabama, at work, experiencing what many transgender people in rural places experience on a regular basis. To their credit, my colleague, who was co-leading, stepped in and handled the situation perfectly. It was such a blessing to know that people I respect and trust have my back, though that didn't stop me from feeling really dysphoric and lousy all the way back to Auburn.
Many transgender people in rural communities do not have this level of support, and many do not have access to mentors or counselors who can help them learn more about who they are, the rights they have, and the services available to them. In place of a brick and mortal community center, MyTransitionPartner.com allows people without support to find the answers and resources they need. And unlike a brick and moral center, we are always open.
Thank you for being our partner in Never Alone,
Darcy J. Corbitt-Hall She/Her/Hers
President and CEO
Who We Are
Darcy Jeda Corbitt Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity promoting the health and global wellbeing of transgender, queer, and gender nonconforming individuals. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by US Federal Tax Code.
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