Thursday, January 12, 2006

Putting the T in LGB

Over Christmas, I stayed with partner dude's family for a few nights. Someway, somehow conversation turned to transgenderism. His family said they could not understand why "T" was included in LGBT because "Ts just like to dress up." Which isn't really accurate, but anyway, the conversation went along the lines of, 'That's really wierd, that's really freaky' while I squirmed in my seat wondering whether I should say anything.

So I said, 'How many transgendered people to you know?' I wasn't surprised when everyone said none. So I said, 'We have friends who are transsexuals. I think if you met them, you wouldn't think it was so wierd or freaky after all.' Which they did admit, was probably true.

Today on Peterson's blog there is a guest article by Diana who is transsexual. Diana also has her own website, which not only explores trans issues but also contains some beautiful photographs and interesting looking recipes.

One of the things she talks about is the need to put a face on the abstract. I admit that until I actually met people who were transgendered, I didn't understand and thought it was a bit wierd. But when I met people who are transsexual, it didn't seem wierd at all. They were my friends and they had hopes, plans, ambitions, relationships, feelings just like I do. To me, transgendered people were no longer some peculiar, foreign and exotic outside group, they were the people I shared my life with. When one of my friends who is a transvestite invited my help to remove hair from his legs the first time he decided to go out as she, we actually had a lot of fun. What is more, when the process was over my friend had much smoother legs than me - meh. Not fair :(.

I am thankful when people "come out" as gay or trans or something else. I am glad their journey has brought them to a point where they are proud of who they are and willing to share that with others. I am also grateful, because when people stand up and be who they are, especially when they must risk the rejection or scorn of others to do so, I think they start to liberate others also. They broaden our view of the world and of ourselves. It is in friendships with people who are gay that I have learned a lot about my own sexuality. In seeking to understand and value friends who are of a different religion to me, I have come to rethink and discover my own faith. In sharing with friends who are black and asian, I have come to understand a little more what it means to be white.

Anyway, please read Diana's piece on Peterson's blog and her website with an open mind and an open heart. When we live in a society where people are considered "wierd" or "freaky", it does us good to listen to their stories and be reminded of their humanity, and to realise a little bit more of our own.


Diana_CT said...

Thank you for your posting, it is really nice and thank you for taking a stand. Each voice speaking up helps us all.
Also thank you for your lovely comment on my Guestbook.

Contemplative Activist said...

Thanks Diana - it was really lovely to read your post on Peterson's blog as well :).

SinnaLuvva said...

Great post.

diary said...

Hi, allthough I dont always agree with you (lol) I think you seem really interesting.. You stick to yourself in a way.. You have your own opinions which is always good when people do. Its a good place to start with anything really.
Good luck in everything you do!

Contemplative Activist said...

Hi Dairy,

Thanks for dropping by, nice to meet you :).

It's always good to get involved in discussion with people who think differently from us - we all stand to learn something :).


Lora said...

While in college I've knew a few men that were exploring their options, and was fully supportive and never really thought much of it. However, when ever I've met a man in women's clothing, I always feel awkward. I don't know quite how to interact. I guess it's just such a novelty for me that I haven't gotten a chance to figure it out.