My name is Claire Slingerland. I am a Trans woman from the Netherlands. All my life I have been struggling with my feelings. I didn’t dare come out of the closet as I feared losing my family and my profession. But, at some point, I couldn’t go on living like I had been. The only way I could continue living was as my true self.

When I told my wife and family that I was really a woman, they rallied around me and were extremely supportive. This result was way better than I had expected. Although many accepted me, there were also people who did not. But most important to me, was the acceptance of my family, parents and good friends. 

I am a proud Rotarian. When I told the members of my club about my gender identity, they gave me a warm welcome and re-installed me as a female member!

Later on , I was happy to found out Rotary has an active international LGBT+ community.

On November 20th, it is Transgender Day Of Remembrance. On this day, we remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. In the past 10 years more than 3300 trans people have been murdered. The continued violence endured by transgender people is a human tragedy that we need to pay attention to. During the last five years in the US, 2020 has been the most violent for incidents against transgender women. This has to stop. We, as  Rotarians, can help to make an inclusive society were everybody can be themselves.

I am a video producer and my company makes videos and documentaries. When I came out of the closet, I realised I had to do something for people who are still struggling; and for people who are already out of the closet, but have to endurde abuse, threats and discrimination.

At the moment I’m working on a 40 minute documentary about the social transition of trans people. In the documentary, four trans people tell what (for many years) had stopped them from being themselves. It highlights what a difference it made to them when they, finally took the step to become who they really are.

The documentary will be broadcast on Dutch television around Christmas. I hope it will contribute to more acceptance of trans people. We will also make a short version of the movie for educational purposes.

The next project I will be working on is a documentary about homeless and abandoned young LGTB+ people.

I am also active in my municipality within the LGBTI + Platform of Almere. Which is my hometown. On coming out day this year, I was asked by the municipality to hoist the trans flag and give a speech at the town hall.

This is how I work on helping to create a more inclusive society. Will you join me in making this world a more beautiful place?