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.