My Name is Melissa and I’m a Trans Tory
I’ve been Trans all my life and for most of that I hid in the closet for my personal safety and the fear of losing those I loved.
My journey through life in the closet was not without a variety of experiences. I graduated from college, bought a house, started a business and found time to always contribute to the community. Through volunteering I became politically involved starting in 1984.
As a closeted Trans women I have met city councillors, provincial MPP’s, federal MP’s, party leaders, foreign government ambassadors and leaders. I’ve been involved in many campaigns, community based innatitives and quiet meetings where deals were struck.
I’m not new to politics and I really do understand how things get done in Canada. No amount of anger or negativity will bring about positive change; it never has.
Change happens by getting involved, listening (a lot of listening), some talking and building equity. Knowing which skirmishes to join and which to avoid.
As a Trans woman I know my community needs protection in law; Trans lives are being lost without it.
In Toronto people in the community know me as a Community Trans March leader. They also know me as someone they can call night or day for help of any kind and my phone rings.
The way I see to help my community the most is to reclaim my former political life, to use my experience and talk to those who know me (well the once closeted me) and build bridges of understanding.
I’m proud to be a member of LGBTory because it’s a grassroots organization with excellent goals. It’s a beginning and the start of real Trans inclusion in the Conservative Party of Canada. Those within LGBTory are affecting that change, positively.
Trans representation had been missing within Tory circles and that had created a vacuum which was filled with misunderstanding and in some cases hatred. Not being at the table had allowed others to marginalize our concerns and block our human rights.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to come out and that people would say mean things, but it’s who I am. I’m ok with that; I’m an out of the closet Conservative, business owner and Trans woman.
I’d like to talk with other Trans Canadians about LGBTory because change will happen as our numbers grow.