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After recording every place I went I could not come up with a place that was dangerous. But I did come up with one thing that most of these places have in common that would quickly turn them from same places in to dangerous places, and that is anywhere that you have to show an id. Although I did not encounter any safety issues myself, my id is questioned A LOT…and I mean A LOT. I look young and it seems people do not want to believe I am 21. This is a minor nuance and I usually have to show a second form of id in which case I often dump my entire wallet of credit cards on to the counter with my name plastered across each one, declaring, “SEE! I AM AMANDA ERICKSON! THIS IS ME!?
This weekend I encountered this at the following places where I was required to show identification: the liquor store, the gas station, Bath and Body Works, Boynton Health Center, the pharmacy, and Mall of America (they did not think I was 16 so they needed to see an id). With how upset I was after the Mall of America incident (which if you ask me is incredibly prejudice of people’s age to ask to see an id only of people that look young, although we have not committed any kind of crime and are going about our own business) I got so infuriated that I started thinking about the jerks that usually are checking ids. I felt that my dignity and rights were being stripped because of how I look. Then I started thinking about GLBT 1001 and the topics we have been discussing in class and this assignment. What if I had an id in which I was a “female? but I was a man? Or what if my id classified me as a “male? but I was a woman? The discrimination I felt that day could not even begin to compare to the amount of discrimination I would receive if the sex on my id did not match my gender.
I cannot imagine how unsafe these situations would be if you do not have identification that looks like you and categorizes you as the gender you feel the most comfortable in. I think that if I were a transgender individual I would want to be the one causing violent because it is infuriating to have an id questioned or have people tell you it is fake. If it were for a reason like that I can see how violence could easily start. I also can imagine the jerks who usually ask for the ids to start violence because of their bigoted, ignorant, and entitled power-trips they are on.
I was very surprised that literally every place a transgender individual goes to that requires a form of identification is a place of potential danger. Every place, whether well-lit, in public, in private, in broad day light etc. can become unsafe in the blink of an eye because you never know how the person who is looking at your id is going to react. They could harass you verbally, make snide remarks, or just simply resort to violence. It is sad that this is the kind of world we live in.
-Amanda Erickson