I am responding to the article printed March 12, "Pansexual woman's journey empowers her to help others."
After reading the article I was very disturbed by the stereotype being described for those living at Chicago House or being serviced at the TransLife Center. I find it offensive to hint that everyone there is HIV-positive, a high-risk prostitute or a trans person of color with legal issues. After living and receiving services there for over five months, I know that not to be the case. I myself am biracial and gender non-conforming, and I am not a prostitute nor do I have HIV. There are also people who live there who work and volunteer.
It is distressing to me to have the perception that the example given is the norm. I, for one, am not. Most people I have met there have come from many different backgrounds and are there for different reasons, ranging from health to financial. They had no other choice but to seek help from where they would be accepted and not judged. But there are those, too, who are there because of the choices they make and the consequences that follow.
There are great things happening at the TransLife Center for those who choose to utilize them. I personally am grateful for the center's harm-reduction program as well as its support with substance-abuse and mental-health issuesvery important topics that were not mentioned in the article.
I just feel the public should know the example used is not the norm, or a good one. We wish LayMorris the best, but that was her story and not ours.