This blog entry by ACLU of Montana LGBT Organizer Liz Welch originally appeared on the Fair is Fair blog.

Two separate stories about transgender women made headlines in Montana news today.

The first was a tragic report of a young transgender woman in Missoula getting physically assaulted by a man she met in a bar.  Anita Green, who is a transgender woman, is currently awaiting her day in court to testify against the man who allegedly physically forced himself on her and then hit her when she refused his advances and he discovered that she is transgender.

Her story shows the dangerous line that transgender persons face in going about their everyday lives.  Violence is often perpetrated against them by people who do not understand, nor care to learn,  the distinctions of being transgender or transsexual.

However, another side of  the transgender experience emerged from Bozeman at virtually the same time today.  

Cassidy Medicine Horse, a transgender woman who has faced abuse and violence in her life, is a wonderful example of turning the negatives into positives and using them to help other transgender persons through their experiences.

Medicine Horse has started a support group in Bozeman called “TransMSU.”

While often suffering from their own form of Homophobia called transphobia, some transgender Montanans are actively trying to educate others about their journey.  One such activist is author Bobbie Zenker. Bobbie’s book “TransMontana: A Memoir of Transformation in Body, Mind & Spirit” chronicles her transition and the challenges she faced in her search for her true self.

We wish more people would educate themselves.

Bobbie’s book is available through Amazon and is a must read for those who seek first to understand.