Julia Scotti talks about International Transgender Day of Visibility
March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Comedian Julia Scotti, a transgender woman, knows from visible. She's been on America's Got Talent where she dropped an "F-Bomb" and came out on National Television.
She's part of the Showtime special, More Funny Women of a Certain Age, and she's even had a movie made about her journey called "Julia Scotti; Funny That Way."
Julia's also very visible on the Steve Trevelise Show on New Jersey 101.5. You can hear her last appearance on March 28th. I asked Julia how she feels about International Transgender Day of Visibility.
How do you feel about the progress of the transgender community on this day?
"The very fact that we even have a day like this is a sign of progress, but it has been hard-fought. And as joyful as it is, the other side of the coin is that we have to have a Transgender Day of Remembrance each year to draw attention to those Trans folks who have met a violent end over a 12 month period. Still, I believe that socially, economically, and politically we are in a better place than we were when I came out. However, there are those on the far right who work very hard to take away the progress we’ve made. So we need to keep fighting for the right to be equal."
How have you grown since you’ve transitioned?
“In the 22 years since I’ve come out, I have grown tremendously I believe, most notably in a sense of pride and accomplishment in who and what I am. When I first transitioned, I lived in perpetual fear of being ridiculed, being shamed and being harmed. I feared for my job if I was discovered (I was a teacher), I worried that my landlord would force me to move from my apartment (housing discrimination was a very real thing.) Now? I guess you could say I’m out and proud. I don’t hide from anyone or anything. I have the same rights as any other person and I will fight for them when needed.”
What progress has NJ made in dealing with the Trans community?
“NJ is a very progressive state when it comes to not just the Trans community but the entire LGBTQ family. For me, things like the Babs Siperstein Law has made it much easier for Trans folks to acquire legal paperwork like birth certificates and other documentation that is so important to everyday life in America.”
What progress needs to be made?
“Precedents are being challenged and old norms are being shattered. Trans folks are seeking their place in the arts, in law, in business, in professional sports and even government. Time and active voices will change those minds, but it will take time, perhaps a generation.”
If you could have one wish granted for the Trans community, what would it be?
“That the Transgender Day of Remembrance becomes a thing of the past, a reminder of an unenlightened time when innocent people were killed for just being.”
See Julia Scotti Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at Clarion Inn & Suites New Hope-Lambertville, click here for tickets. You can also see Julia Scotti with Uncle Floyd and Steve Trevelise at the Brook Art Theater in Bound Brook on April 16th, click here for tickets.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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