He used to sneak to the back of the library to learn about who he was — now this trans advocate has his own book

As a child, Charley Burton would read at the Gordon Avenue Library. “My heart would pound and I had sweaty hands just knowing I could slip away into all those words and find out about subjects that were taboo in my community. Even as I got older, it felt as if I was doing something wrong,” he writes. Kori Price/Charlottesville Tomorrow

by Charley Burton

There aren’t many trans elders my age in Virginia, let alone in Charlottesville. As 62-year-old Black trans man, my path narrows — and it can sometimes be a lonely one.

When the pandemic hit, the trans community, like many others, searched for how to stay connected. Many of us were no strangers to meeting online. We have used apps to meet the loves of our lives. Now, we were also using online platforms to connect on a Friday night — 20 Black trans men from all over the country on Facebook video just shooting the shit.

Age didn’t matter. Being a trans man of color was what mattered. Any given Friday, there would be 20-years-olds schooling us who are in our 60s. Then it would be time for the elders to drop some knowledge of life to the youngsters. The Uncs were walking the Nephews on the life of being an old trans guy.

>Continue Reading on the Charlottesville Tomorrow Website

This story was published as a part of Charlottesville Inclusive Media’s First Person Charlottesville project. Have a story to tell? Here’s how.

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