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June 01, 2021

Hope Harris

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Sharing Wisdom Across Transgender Generations

June 01, 2021
Hope Harris

Point Foundation helps our scholars develop the leadership skills they need to become leaders in their respective professions, communities, and society. Every year of their funding term, Point Scholars are required to initiate and complete a Community Service Project (CSP) that will positively impact the LGBTQ community.

What's up? My name is Madison Klementyn, but you can call me Maddie. I am currently an undergraduate student at Portland State University but also enrolled in graduate classes. My focus is on embedded computing and robotics. One day, I hope to have my very own robot that I can tell what to do. My CSP is a series of writing pieces. They encompass two parts of focus: The first being an exposé of the perils, horrors, and dangers of transitioning young with no support network - directed at greater society; The second is an inspiration and guidance focus - directed at youth experiencing such a crisis filled life. 

I have always wanted to reach a wider audience with my story. Not merely sharing my story, but uplifting - reaching those who might need to strengthen their journey. It is important for them to know they are not alone. While the queer scene can be a tremendously uplifting community, the fact remains that trans-identified humans comprise of only 8.5% of the GLBT community (The Williams Institute - UCLA School of Law, January 2019). Out of these, even less are of immigrant or non-Caucasian racial identity. This compounds the feelings of tokenization we trans folk have as a part of the greater GLB community. With alienation and diminished access to crisis support, drug abuse is a rampant theme within the trans-youth community. Without stigmatizing the behavior and addressing the guidance necessary to preserve self-identity through repeated traumatic events, it is my wish that these writing pieces guide trans youth through that maze and into adulthood. Coming back from the deafening depths of extreme substance addiction and excelling in academics and what I have chosen for my life means I am able to convey a crisp cognizance concerning the complexities of convalescence and conquering coping compulsions. 

I plan to expand on this 3-part series with further granularity of the subject. Eventually, this will encompass a lifestyle-change package designed for anyone to pick up and put down as it fits their life - but with a focus of what specific behaviors, actions, and internal-grooming strategies worked to bootstrap myself back into society. The first three pieces will be completed before the end of 2021, and the framework for the next set of topics will continue in 2022. By the end of 2022, I hope to have majority of the project complete, and just add ongoing narratives and life-tips that are not specifically rooted in a step-based lattice. I will also be forming time and subject-based narrative outlines that are to be used in live public speaking engagements. 

Once I publish the first three pieces to a dedicated URL, people can share the URL with everyone that might find strength and guidance from these pieces. I will be considering live speaking engagements post-COVID decline and will be touring for queer/trans or trans/substance-recovery focused conferences or speaking engagements.

As the first trans woman in India to complete a Doctor of Philosophy, and principal of Krishnagar Women's College, Dr. Manabi Bandyopadhyay says: "Be yourself, the world will adjust."

This post’s responses were submitted by Point Scholar Madison Klementyn (She/Her & They/Them).

Klementyn is currently pursuing a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering at Portland State University. Read more about Madison here.

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