Max Marrone has never spoken out before about being transgender, because he was afraid of being retaliated against at work. But Max has worked with children for several years, including in positions that required ensuring their safety and wellbeing, so he feels he has to start speaking out again for their sake. Transgender youth desperately need to be protected from discrimination, Max says; no young person should have to try and establish themselves as an adult while struggling to find a job or place to live because of anti-transgender discrimination.
Max has rarely come out publicly because of the sometimes violent ways people have reacted when they learn he is transgender. But Max says transgender youth are counting on adults to raise their voices. “It is simply tragic that well adjusted, community minded, working professionals have to struggle with the fear of losing their job or being unable to get another one,” Max said. “We should be allowing people a fair opportunity for professional development and promoting an overall healthier community.”