As the size of this site grows, so does the staff! We want to first congratulate Melanie on her having graduated college with a degree in Liberal arts in math and science and we also want to congratulate her on joining us here at the staff of transinclusivemovement.com! her work has been recognized as that of a leader of this community and of this movement. We look forward to working extensively with Melanie, and providing her the assistance she needs to move her local community and the nationwide community forward.
"Upon the many stresses and exciting things going on for my graduation from college, one thing stood out. I was really scared I wouldn't be addressed as Melanie when called in front of thousands of people! I kept asking for over a month to make sure that I would be addressed as Melanie instead of Tom. Every time I asked someone, they would say, "is your name legally changed yet"? With a bit of a sneer. I let them know it hasn't and was told I could have it changed the day of graduation. Low and behold, my special day arrives. To my surprise, the roster is already printed and I am handed a card that says Thomas Balka! My heart sunk immediately. My veteran peer advisors became upset with news of this and immediately made a complaint to the coordinator. When I leg my friends who were graduating know what happened, they all rallied to petition and stop the line. Fortunately, this did not happen and my name was fixed just in time! My whole world came full circle knowing I was treated with the respect I as a transgender woman deserve to be treated with. I was also reminded of how much I was loved knowing that a good chunk of the graduates would have had my back had I needed it. Every person deserves the respect to be able to express who they are and I am glad I was given that due respect."