Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

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12 | Overdrive | September 2019 Editor's note: is edited excerpt is from propane hauler Kira Wertz's Aug. 8 sto- ry published in e Transition Transmis- sion, her Medium.com-hosted platform for stories about "those who transitioned and risked everything to live authenti- cally." Wertz was responding in part to Overdrive readers' commentary objecting to the growing visibility of transgender drivers following our August "Ride With Pride" story about LGBTQ truckers. We are not seeking to be in anyone's face to wave our gender identity around. We are choosing to live openly because it becomes easier to marginalize a community that does not stand up and be counted. e last time the Williams Institute estimated how many Americans iden- tify as transgender was in 2016; at the time, their estimate came to approxi- mately 1.4 million. is was twice that of their last survey of transgender indi- viduals. I expect that later it will double again. Visibility begets visibility. When people see us performing legitimate day jobs, it forces them to humanize us. at's problematic when you've spent a lifetime seeing this community as worthy of nothing more than being sex workers and deserving murder victims. Some of the negative comments do something common in the public narra- tive regarding any minority group: ey imply that those minorities will have all the rights as anyone else when they stop being public about their struggle, remaining subordinate to the majority. Unfortunately, that's not how equality happens. e cause of marginalized individuals cannot be won by having good-intentioned, privileged people holding the center stage on their behalf. If we don't stand up for our rights to be treated and seen as equals, we are in dereliction of our communal obligation. ose who said the most heinous things in response to Overdrive's LGBTQ cover story took the same stance as those who oppose immigrants seeking a better life: Go back where you came from (the closet). Or, more aptly, "Stop making me see your disparity, because it means I'll have to change my own internal dialog about your validity." It is my hope that one day the validity of the LGBTQ community does not need to be framed at all, that our place as equals makes our visibility a nonissue. Until then, let's all just complain about the four-wheelers. – Kira Wertz The road to accepting a minority in trucking Transgender company driver Kira Wertz More made-up nonsense. In 27 years out on the road, I've never heard of or seen anyone being called out for being dif- ferent in person. CB is anoth- er story, but no one knows if you're a dude wearing a skirt behind the wheel. And no one cares. — Eric Chapman, one among many online commenters regarding our coverage of the continued difficulties and increasing acceptance of LGBTQ truckers 5 mph? Really? Moving your truck across the truck stop parking lot because after two hours you decided you've had enough of that wheezing reefer you're parked next to going off every five minutes — that shouldn't count against you. If any- thing, you're trying to get more/better rest, not less. It should be 10 mph at least. — Scott, commenting on electronic logging devices' automatic move to the drive line when the truck reaches 5 mph. Those who've been using automatic onboard recording devices have not had a speed limit on yard moves. Read more in the section beginning after page 28.

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