By Jensen Matar, TEAP-MS Advocacy Coordinator

Every person has a voice that matters. Transgender people are no less. In today's climate, it is imperative more than ever that transgender people know their rights and utilize their voices.

Transgender people have the right to vote. If your presentation does not match your photo ID and you have not changed your name or gender to match your identity, you still have the right to vote. Come vote as you are. Poll workers are not allowed to ask you about your transition. Personal information is not relevant to your ability to vote.

Can I serve my country? Am I employable at all? What type of health services can I receive? What type of protections do I have if I am discriminated against? The difference between voting or not may result in the passing of harmful laws that will answer many of these questions unfavorably. HHS and the Trump administration are currently threatening the very existence of the 1.4 million people who identify as transgender in the U.S. and the 15,000 who reside in Mississippi. We exist. We are here in Mississippi. And, we must be heard.

For every bullied trans person who feels isolated, for those whose lives were taken, and for those who may suffer in a future of ignorance and hate, VOTE.

For more information about changing your ID to reflect your identity and transgender voting rights, visit the ID ME page. Join several Mississippians in the movement for trans equality by utilizing your voice.