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Panel shares experiences

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The open discussion “Transgender in America,” sparked interest in the DRC. Photo from Felix Cordova.

The Diversity Resource Center held an open discussion for students to come talk about their experiences as a transgender person.

Anthony Montoya, senior biology major at CSU-Pueblo, shared some of his experiences as a transgender student at CSU-Pueblo. Anthony will be transforming himself into the person he feels he really is and that transition is from Anthony to Christine.

“Now, I can look in the mirror and be happy, when before I couldn’t even recognize myself,” Montoya said. “As far as my everyday life goes, I don’t think much has changed, except the fact that I finally feel comfortable in my skin.”

Transgender is a complex issue because the term itself is defined differently everywhere. On Dictionary.com, it defines transgender as a person appearing or attempting to be a member of the opposite sex.

During the discussion on Nov. 15, the panel disagreed and claimed they are actually revealing who they really are.

“I’ve always been Noah,” said Noah Ruybal, a freshmen at CSU-Pueblo. “I don’t go around telling people who I used to be, because I was never really that person.”

Montoya gave advice to those who want to transition. Montoya said that they need to brace themselves and know exactly who they are.

“People may laugh and point at me, but they are making a mockery out of my personal struggle,” Montoya said. “It can be really stressful and painful.”

Montoya explained that this whole thing is a journey that has led to lost friendships, but people would understand if they took the time to talk to a transgender person.

“People have tried to tell me that I’m confused,” Montoya said. “But those people are the ones who are confused.”

The confusion starts with how people perceive sexual identity and sexual orientation. Someone’s sexual identity would be their internal gender role, male or female, regardless of their physical appearance, and sexual orientation would be someone’s sexual preference to whom they are attracted to.

Ruybal explained that he hasn’t went through with the transition to a male, so he is actually still a female, but he already considers himself a male. He said that once he made a commitment to being a male, his sexual identity was of a male and his sexual orientation was straight, which meant he is attracted to females.

This explanation pointed out that a female could transition to a male and be attracted to males. This would mean that female, who is now a male, would be considered a gay male.

The transition from one sex to the opposite sex is a long process. The process would start out with hormone replacement therapy, which would help bring out the physical characteristics of the preferred sex and gender. The other step would be to get surgery to replace certain body parts for body parts of the preferred gender.

There are videos on YouTube that show the whole transition from a male to a female, and videos of the transition from a female to male.

For more information, visit www.hrc.org.