I-Story: Senior relates prom transphobia

Kaz Bergmann

My name is Kaz Bergmann, and I am a senior. I also happen to be trans man, and I use he/him pronouns. Prom was recently on Saturday, April 15.

Around 8:20 p.m., two friends and I decided to get some water after dancing. I found myself waiting to pour some water into my cup when someone shoves past me.

I was there first, so I kind of blocked him off. It’s not a big deal; it’s water; he’ll get it in a moment. I didn’t expect this to agitate him the way that it did.

The boy said, “Are you actually blocking me from water…Don’t start something you can’t finish.” I was confused, I didn’t think anything of it, so I laughed it off and turned to join my friends.

The water table was very crowded, and I could not get away fast enough. Behind me, I hear a now familiar voice say, “I almost just had to beat a t******s ass.”

This is the first encounter I’ve ever had slurs being directed at me. One thing about being trans and about being a teenager in general is that you get a lot of built up anger, and there are few times where it is appropriate to let it out physically.

I slammed my cup of water into the back of his neck. I exclaimed, “What the f*** is wrong with you?”

He looks around for people to back him up and casually asks, “What? You just threw that water at me.”

“You just called me a t****y.”

He and a friend proceeded to look at me like I was crazy and kept repeating, “No, he didn’t.” “No I didn’t.”

The adrenaline wore off. I walked away, more furious than I’ve ever found myself and sank to the ground where I started crying.

Admin came to my aid, and they were able to successfully escort the boy off of the premises as well as get me to a safe, quiet area. I was extremely shaken by the altercation and decided it would be best if I went home and recovered. The most painful part was that I had never even heard of this guy before as he went to a different school but he sure as hell knew who I was.

I wanted to share this story because I know that there are plenty of other people like me who are scared of things like this happening, and I just hope that they have the strength to stand up for themselves the way I managed to do so.

I am speaking for more than one other trans youth when I tell you we have never been more scared. There are actions being taken all across the country that go against our very existence and let me tell you, it’s getting exhausting.

Trans people are victims of physical and verbal violence everyday by people around them. The more we ignore something or don’t do anything about it, we become complacent and incapable of change.
It is up to everyone across the globe to fight against the hate and violence posed against people like me, and people like you.

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