Tony Nominee Harvey Fierstein Calls for Help for Transgender Girl in NY Times Piece
Today's New York Times featured a piece written by 2014 Tony Award Nominee Harvey Fierstein (Casa Valentina). The piece tells the horrifying story of a teenage girl (referred to as simply Jane Doe to protect her identity as a youth) who has been sexually and physically abused by family members as well as staff members of various institutions and residencies she's been placed in. Fierstein hypothesizes that the reasoning behind these attacks on this girl is because she is transgender.
"You see, Jane can be violent. She has fought with other children and with staff members wherever she's been placed. But given her history, how could she survive by being anything but violent? Where, in her entire life, would this child have ever learned anything except to fight back? And how is placing her in an adult prison - where aggression, savagery and intimidation are the everyday tools needed to survive - going to help her heal?
"It's not enough to recount the torment she has endured. If we want to stop the cycle of brutality, we have to ask why the heavens rained down on this child. I believe it is because Jane is transgender.
"Jane was born a boy. She began exhibiting feminine characteristics from age 5, and by the time she was 9 she knew that she was, in fact, a girl. Born into a society where blending gender lines was unacceptable, where God and preachers condemn, Jane didn't have a chance.
"Those with the best intentions felt it was their duty to beat these notions out of her. Those with the worst intentions felt it their right to toy with someone they considered a freak of nature. She was devalued as a family member, rejected by her peers and shunned by decent society. How could she ever survive except by learning that no adult could be trusted?"
Click here to read the full NY Times article.
Harvey Fierstein is the author of the current Broadway smash hits Kinky Boots (2013 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical) and Newsies, as well as Torch Song Trilogy (Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Awards), La Cage aux Folles (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), The Sissy Duckling (Humanitas Award), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex (Ace Award), Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush Tosca, Common Ground, and more. His political editorials have been published in The New York Times, TV Guide, The Huffington Post, and broadcast on PBS's "In the Life." His children's book, The Sissy Duckling is now in its fifth printing. As an actor, Fierstein is known worldwide for his performances in films like Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, and on stage in Hairspray (Tony Award), Fiddler On The Roof, La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy (Tony Award) and television shows such as "Smash," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Good Wife," "Cheers" (Emmy nomination), "The Simpsons," and "Nurse Jackie."
From This Author Louisa Brady