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Velshi: Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can do real damage.

The words we use with one another matter. Despite what you likely learned about “sticks and stones”, unkind words CAN be dangerous. Especially to members of the transgender and nonbinary community. Imagine having to defend yourself every single day. Having to convince just about every person you meet, that you are the gender you say you are. For many trans people in this world, there’s just no safe space anywhere, except maybe in their own home. But even renting a home or getting a mortgage is harder for a trans person than for others. If you are offended or somehow threatened by a trans person, it’s worth recognizing that your mindset and your words are much more dangerous to them, than their existence is to you. It will take work on all of our parts to ensure that trans people are treated with equality, justice, compassion, and respect. When we recognize the weight our words carry, we can make progress on this deadly issue. A person’s identity is *not* the butt of a joke. Remember: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can do real damage.

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