Friday, June 5, 2009

Attempt understanding, be acceptance

I know a transgendered person. I haven't been in touch with him for over 5 years. I say he because the last I heard from him he had to move back to Montana with his parents and couldn't live as the gender he is otherwise he'd be killed. But truly he isn't a he, he is a she. I mean no disrespect, I only call her by the gender she is forced to live as, in this first section of my post.

It was hard for him to become a she in public. Even my most tolerant friends find it odd and do not understand the switch if I tell them about his situation. (Not that it comes up often).

I asked my friend a lot of questions when he came out to me about it. He was in his 40's when he got brave enough to do it. In southern California where you'd think he'd have an easier time than he did. I felt gratefulness that he felt I was safe enough to tell, that I could be trusted.

He was vilified. And it was terrible to see and hear. I did the best I could to help others understand but almost everyone (like 99%) of people just couldn't accept it. Wouldn't accept it.

I knew the first time I looked into her eyes that the eyes that looked back at me were the exact same eyes that looked at me when she was a he. There was no difference in his generosity or likeability or human-ness. She was exactly the same person...just packaged a little differently.

Today I was sent an email that came from a friend who also knows a transgendered person. The difference is the news story is about transgendered children. My friend was an adult, who struggled mightily over her decision to be who she was. This article talks about adults who are vilifying children. It made me ill to think of the ill will we casually spread.

All because of differences we choose not to understand. The story:


Donita Curioso said...

Any transgendered kid with parents who understand and accept who they are is amazingly fortunate. Just about every transgendered person I've spoken to or read about say that they knew from childhood that they were born the wrong sex. To address the problem early in life can avoid the serious and sometimes life-threatening issues that arise from the child not being accepted in in society or even in their own family.

The clowns at that radio station need to be ,ahem, educated.

VO said...

Most of the people I come across (the ones who make terrible comments) can't seem to understand it's not a choice like choosing orange juice over apple juice.

Who would decide to walk a road that is so filled with difficulties like that willingly? No, I think they try to fit in, try to be like everyone else until they just can't anymore.