Campus Chat: Local LGBT University Student Reacts to Trump Presidency

BTL Staff
By | 2017-03-09T09:00:00-04:00 March 9th, 2017|Michigan, News|

BY DREW SAUNDERS

Oakland University student Morgan Shaw- Andrade. Photo courtesy of Drew Saunders

As a self-identified straight, female-to-male transgender man, Morgan Shaw-Andrade said, he is “scared.”
The Oakland University student is worried that his rights will be taken away if the Trump administration continues to roll back the progress the LGBT community has made in terms of policies and protections.
“I’m also worried about the insurance thing because my insurance covers my testosterone and all of my doctor’s appointments,” said Shaw-Andrade, who is also the fitness and nutrition coach at Transcend the Binary in Ferndale.
During a panel discussion at the the 33rd Annual Women and Gender Studies Film Festival on Jan. 21 at OU, he said he thinks the LGBT community “should become loud again as we’ve been quiet and fearful since the election of Donald Trump.”
He is doing his part to “give my community a friendly face where they feel comfortable and they don’t feel they have to fit this certain mold – that they can be authentically themselves because that’s how we’re happiest. I feel that when you are happy with yourself and authentic with yourself you give others the freedom to do the same.”
Shaw-Andrade is one of several local university students in and around metro Detroit who discussed his thoughts and feelings with BTL about what a Trump presidency means to him, which the publication will continue to feature in a series.

Not only are you a transgender man, but you are a cultural minority as well. How has this affected you?
My Mom is a citizen. She’s not from Mexico, she’s from Chile. However, we’re a Hispanic family. People tend to generalize us as Mexicans. It’s concerning. And there’s been a lot more hatred since he’s been so vocal about his feelings towards other races. He separates himself as a white person from other races by saying ‘The Hispanics,’ ‘The blacks,’ ‘Look at that black man.’ He said he wanted to have a registry for Muslim people. Why? They’re not different from us, but he’s making divisions. It’s an issue across all minorities.

Do you feel like an easy target?
Not so much an easy target, but I think as a more power individual he just goes after who he thinks is less powerful because he think it’s less of a threat.

As a transgender person, do you feel more vulnerable to discrimination?
We have less privilege than other parts of the LGBT community. Obviously not the entire LGBT acronym, but definitely with the LGB portion, we have less privilege. Not only just because we’re trans. But there’s a lot of intersectionality because there’s gay trans people, which also knocks them down another level. Since trans people have become more vocal, we’ve kind of become the scapegoat for all the negative people. All of the sudden we’re the scapegoat for all the sexual predators, which I don’t really understand, but we are. So I think we’re at a higher risk…just because they don’t understand.

What are you doing right now to protect yourself?
I already submitted my name change and my gender marker changed on my passport. So it was what I planned on doing eventually, but now it’s much more rushed because I’m finding myself paying for tuition and paying for all of this mess, just to cover my own ass essentially.

What do you think about Trump moving forward?
I don’t think the man is well. He doesn’t even realize that he flip-flops. He just flip-flops and then he’s so convinced that this has always been his stance. It’s not right. There’s something wrong.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.