Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

The Perspective of a Transwoman

Stephanie Skora, a transwoman activist, opened up about her life experiences as a transgender woman with a biological family that rejected her, on Monday night in Hanson. Skora’s talk was called “Help! Help! Get Me Out of Queer!” and it focused on family, fear, and fortitude.
Skora is an avid scholar and activist for the transgender community. She attended University of Illinois, where she started a group for the transgender community. Her activism focuses on achieving transgender equality.
Skora focused on her road to finding her identity, along with the way she chose her own family after being rejected by her biological family. As a young boy Skora was emotionally abused by her mother. According to Skora, her mother expected her to be a “perfect, little Jewish boy.”  It wasn’t until college that Skora began to realize who she really was.
“I failed them, because I am not a man, and I was never a man in the 17 years that I tried to be” says Skora
Skora’s mother and biological family were the last people she came out to. Skora had to come to terms with the fact that she did not have their support. According to Skora, family is not biological.
“Never let yourself feel like you can’t choose your family, because you can choose your comunnitiy” says Skora
Skora saw a poster for the GSA, called Q, in her residence hall. The word transgender was foreign to her, so she decided to look it up on Wikipedia.
“It made me understand what I was” says Skora
After coming to terms with her own transgender identity, Skora wanted to find others like her.
According to Skora, this prompted her to form the group for the transgender community at UOI. Skora found her family in these people. She stresses the idea that these people became her family because they all had something in common. They had been rejected by their biological families.
“A wonderful family had sprung together all at once” says Skora
Skora wants people to understand the queer familial unit. She discusses that people often hear about transgender issues and hardships, but never from transgender people themselves. Skora opened herself up for people to ask questions and understand.
“I was uncomfortable in the beginning because it was a new experience. I have never encountered a transgender person. But as it went on, and the more personal it got, I felt more accepting and understanding” says sophomore in attendance, Emma Slattery
Skora really focuses on the distance and hopelessness that transgender people feel when their biological families reject them. According to Skora, she was never a man. Her gender identity is female and her gender expression is very feminine.
Skora is a non-transitioning transgender woman. According to Skora, she affirms her gender by making herself feeling pretty.
“It is the first time I’ve heard the entire story start to finish. She is the first person that I’ve met that is an adult, not someone my age” says sophomore Ethan Conley-Keck

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The Perspective of a Transwoman