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Centuries ago, during the witch trials of the medieval era, a unique way of determining who was or wasn’t a witch was created. A woman suspected of being a witch would have her right thumb bound to the big toe on her left foot. She would then have a rope tied around her waist, and be thrown into a nearby pond or river.

She was viewed as a witch if she floated, as her body had “rejected baptism” in the water. She would then be put to death for her supposed crimes. If she sunk in the water — drowning in the process — she was deemed pure.

Either way, the woman ended up dead.

For the last couple of years, I spent a lot of time warning of the dangers to come. Now, I no longer have to. Because, you see, the danger is here.

The Supreme Court of the United States took an unusual action recently, in a 5-4 decision to let the Trump Administration ban transgender members from the military, even as lower courts are still hearing arguments. This could well mean thousands of transgender people may be discharged.

It amazes me how so many seem to view the notion of “transgender people” as if it were something that magically winked into existence just five years ago. It’s as if the moment they first heard of transgender people is the moment transgender people came into existence, rather than it merely being the moment they stopped living in ignorance about the existence of transgender identity.

So, once again, we reach the closing of the year.

When I was much younger than I am today, as the scent of the Douglas fir my father set up in the front room would waft through the house and the glow of holiday lights would produce a diffused glow of color against the window blinds on my bedroom, I would find myself making my holiday wish list.

Recently, a Dutchman named Emile Ratelband made a bold proclamation: He wanted to legally change his age. At age 69, he claimed that his age made it hard for him to score on dating sites, and requested to be 49 instead.

Regardless of the final outcome of the mid-term elections, the administration has made it clear that they wish to erase transgender people from all federal protections, and have even presumably made overtures to the United Nations to attempt to remove gender from its human-rights documents.

In April 2015, a year before the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education under then-President Barack Obama issued guidance to public schools clarifying that Title IX protected transgender students, a school district in Virginia faced a dilemma: A fourth-grade student transitioned.

Recent reports say that 0.7 percent of teens identify as transgender. At the same time, a recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that 50.8 percent of trans-masculine people attempt suicide, with gender-nonconforming people doing the same 41.8 percent of the time, and 29.9 percent of trans-masculine people also attempting to kill themselves.

One of the most important things for a trans person is their identity. We live in a world that is constantly, doggedly, trying to strip that away from us. We face pressure over this throughout our lives — and often end up losing that battle after death.

In 1993, a transgender woman named Lauren Diana Wilson took her life. Her family claimed her body, and later held a funeral. From what I was able to learn about it, she was buried in male clothing, with her hair clipped. Her parents listed her as male and under her birth name — known in trans circles as one’s “deadname.” They kept the event private, so that no one in her life could attend.

There is an irony: I have been an out trans woman for nearly 25 years at this point, having started on this path in 1993 and beginning my public transition in 1995. In all that time, so many around me viewed my transition — and, by extension, transgender people overall — as something new and previously unseen.

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