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Posts Tagged ‘support’

A while ago, someone made the following comment on this blog.  It is not a nice comment, so be warned: It may upset you to read it.

It didn’t upset me, however, and here’s why.  I am fully cognizant of the fact that some people see what we (the transgender or crossdressers) are or do as unnatural. I expect some comments like these.  I welcomed this one, because I saw it as a chance to refute some of the commenter’s claims.  I emailed the person back, asking him (I assume it is a “he”, only because natal males seem to have more of a problem with trans folk than natal females by a large degree) to explain his several comments.

To date, he has not answered me.

I leave his comment here intact, as he wrote it–spelling errors and all–so that I can not be accused of editing it to fit my desires.  Such is propaganda, and that’s not my point here.  My point in making this available is so that *I* can address his various opinions from my own perspective.

Here is what he posted to me. Again, what he says is offensive to many, so please read no further if you are easily upset.

“Transgendered people need help. There is something wrong with them. They need to see a doctor. Gay people are sick also. They are not normal. Don’t get into the semantics of what is mormal you know what I mean. Being transgendered or gay ruins people’s lives. Even their own. So do us all a favor and get fixed!”

He put many words here, but he doesn’t actually *say* anything with them. There is “something wrong” with us…okay, what exactly do you mean by that, sir?  There IS something wrong with us. It’s called “lacking acceptance”.  It’s called “feeling forced to hide ourselves away”.  What’s wrong with us, in a nutshell, is people like you, sir. It is not a thing within us that is wrong.  “Out of place” may a better term for the thing within us. “Mis-matched” is so much more descriptive and accurate. It is a dichotomy between how we feel inside and how we appear outside.

I asked him what he thought the “something wrong” was with us.  No reply.

He says we should have a doctor fix us.  But we often do, sir!  There is a term for it: Gender Reassignment Surgery. Another term applies: Hormone Replacement. Yet another term fits: Gender Identity Therapy.  There are many more terms. In effect. they all work toward helping us become the person we are meant to be–physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually. They help us bridge the gap between who we are inside and who we appear to be outside. They help us cope when people around us call us names, or say we are not welcome in their restaurants, or refuse to acknowledge our humanity.

Oh, wait, I get it…you meant that you wish a doctor would remove the thing within us which makes you uncomfortable.  Would you also change the skin color of the person with whom you are conversing? Would you shorten the hair of the gentleman playing the guitar over there? Would you remove that which allows your mother to speak her mind or enables her to move to another room besides the kitchen? In short, sir, would you make all people into those of your own choosing? My guess is that you would. How disappointed you must be with these annoying people constantly intruding on your life! Why can’t they all just disappear and leave you alone?

I feel so sorry for you. You must be in constant and neverending misery.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we cannot be fixed that way any more than colored skin can, or the guitar player can, or any woman or man can.

“Gay people are sick also. They are not normal. Don’t get into the semantics of what is mormal you know what I mean.”  (Well, I had to take a guess at “mormal”, but I believe I was able to pull the meaning of the word out of the context of the sentence.)

Why yes, gay people *are* often sick. They catch colds and contract the flu just like you do. They suffer from illness and disease, because–and I realize this may be a shock to you and you will have a hard time understanding the words–because they are human.

It’s okay, sir…breathe.  The confusion and nausea will pass if you relax and open your mind.

Yes, Gay people are human. Lesbian women are human. Transgender people are–as bizarre as you may find this–human. Just like you.

Welllll…perhaps not *just* like you. The overwhelming majority of trans, gay, lesbian or bi people I know are more open-minded and accepting than you are. For that reason–yes, I’m saying this–they are better than you.  Healthier, anyway. Hmmm…perhaps the sick ones are not we, but you, sir?

I know! You should see a doctor! Have her fix you!

“Being transgendered or gay ruins people’s lives. Even their own.”  I specifically wanted to know what sir meant by this statement. I admit it perplexes me.  In my experience and based on the stories I’ve read and heard, it is the other way around. Family members, supposed “friends”, complete strangers…many of these cause problems for those of us who identify with one or more of the letters in “LGBT”. Many who purport to love us instead reject us…do you know the pain that can cause? Oh that’s right…you’ve never been rejected, have you? You’ve never walked down a street and been taunted or sword at–or attacked and brutally beaten or even killed–because of who you are. No, because you’re perfect, I forgot. Nobody has anything bad to say about you.

For just a moment, I want you to call to mind the person you love most in the world–besides yourself, if you can.  Picture their face, feel the warmth of their smile as they caress your cheek. Now imagine them telling you you’re worthless, that they wish they’d never met you, that they want you to have never been born. In short, picture them ripping your heart apart with their words.

You *begin* to know that through which we sometimes have to go.

We ruin people’s lives? No. More often, the ones who reject us usually go on living their lives in peace, while we are forced to pick up the shattered remains of our souls and *try* to live our own lives.

We live in pain, too often, and for too long. We shed tears over lost loved ones–who are still alive, but with whom we can never again be. *Our* lives are ruined far more often and in far more permanent ways than those with whom we interact, and it is not we who are ruining them.

If I am ruining your life just by being, sir, it speaks volumes about the fragility of your existence.

Ruining our own lives? Sir, we are trying to simply live those lives. We are trying to heal from being broken by people around us. Often we are doing this alone, because we cannot ask for your help. We help each other. We strengthen our sisters, heal our brothers, because you will not. And no matter how hard you try to keep breaking us, you never will. We are stronger than you, sir. We are healthier than you. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that even in our oft-time misery, we are nonetheless happier than you.

Your last comment is the most disturbing. You tell us to “get fixed”, and I sincerely hope you do not mean that in the veterinary sense. Because that would be indicative of a very sick mind. It borders on a threat to our lives–to my life–which is an offense to both sensibility and law. So I will assume you mean it in the medical sense…which I have addressed above.

Sir, I gave you a chance to explain your words, to make your case. I offered to post your comments and explanations here on my site, to give voice to your ideas. I invited you to do so. You ignored my invitation to dialogue. Are you so unsure of your own mind that you are afraid I might sway it with mere words?

You should know that we are strong–stronger than you realize. You should know that your words do not sting us as you wish they would. We have heard them before, we have processed them, we have found ways to draw upon them for our strength. In short, sir, your words make us stronger. We know ourselves, sir…or we are learning who we are, and it is a wonderful journey!  In discovering ourselves, we see the good in those around us, and we build and encourage and strengthen that good! We polish it, make it shine, turn it into a mirror to reflect God’s light into dark corners like yours. It burns, that Light, does it not? But it only burns because you have wrapped the cold darkness around you like a cloak.

You should know that cloak is thin and weak–its threads will fray and unravel under the onslaught of the Light. It will be easier on you if you open your mind to it, and allow it in. Oh I know, sweetie! It is so hard to do that! You are so afraid of the Light, but the Light WILL NOT HURT YOU! The pain comes from the darkness, and your vice-grip on it. Once you let go of it, the pain will disappear. How can I prove that to you?  I can’t. You must take a leap of faith before you can feel it. You must trust that it will happen.

Yes, transgender people need help. We need need it desperately and constantly and fully.  We need acceptance, we need employment, we need insurance. We need love. We need life.

But we *have* help. We help each other, we accept each other, we support each other, we love each other and we allow each other to live. Non-trans people give us those things, too, sir, believe it or not–many, many of them. And more are accepting us every day. Your corner is getting smaller, I’m afraid.

We have life, we have acceptance, we have love, we have support.  And your words, sir, can never change that.

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I don’t normally like to rant.  I’m trying to improve the world–to add to it, in other words, and not to increase the darkness already so widespread. And ranting never adds light.

But I can’t hold my tongue today.  I was reading a comment thread on the wall of one of the FB groups to which I belong–a group trying to make things better and easier for trans people worldwide.  The original post was about something unimportant to this rant.  The comment thread, however, took a turn that made me really pissed.

The gist of it was whether FtM trans men have it worse that MtF trans women, in terms of employment, discrimination, etc. It quickly degenerated into “We have it worse because of this, you don’t understand what we have to go through”, etc. Here’s what I had to say:

Understanding of a group–any group–is very difficult to achieve. Even WITHIN the trans community, there is so much misunderstanding, so much “I have it worse than you do because of x, y, and z”, “I’m better than you because I x, y, and z”.

You know what this proves? That we’re human. EVERY other group, every other community in the world does this.

One thing we CANNOT afford to do–if we are to present our trans community as united or worthwhile, is show the world we’re just as messed up as the rest of it is. We HAVE to be better than that, or we will NEVER get the one thing we ALL want–acceptance.

I’m just an infant in this slice of population–I haven’t been burned like many of you have. I haven’t seen so-and-so gain acceptance while bashing such-and-such. Not first hand. But I have seen a lot of self-pity and blame and lashing out to others WITHIN OUR OWN COMMUNITY that it makes me sad for ever finding my own acceptance.

MTF, FTM…everyone has it good, everyone has it bad. Does it matter that in case X FTM has it worse, or in case Z MTF has these obstacles to overcome? No matter who you are or what group you’re in, someone has it better than you, and someone has it worse. Cheer those who have it better, support those who have it worse. Get out of your own heads long enough to see the bigger picture.

As I said, I’m just an infant here. I’ve been “out” less than a year…how can I hope to EVER find acceptance in then world if I seriously doubt I’ll find acceptance even in my small segment of the trans community?

Okay, rant off. I just think it’s sad that we as a community seem at times to be even more selfish and self-centered and self-pitying than just about everyone else in the world.

EVERYONE has obstacles and blocks to overcome or break through. Ours always are worse to us than everyone else’s are to them. Knock off the self-pity and work on removing your own obstacles, then–oh, here’s a wild thought!–help someone else overcome theirs.

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My last post talked about a semi-separation between myself and my wife. We’re taking those steps now. The idea here is that we’ll be able to have a little freedom (each), but still be “together”, in the same house, for the kids and for mutual support.  My wife and I are still best friends, even if we are finding a need to explore some things about ourselves alone.

On the way to therapy this morning, we talked about me going out, and my wife’s fears behind allowing it.  It’s very important for me, and she pretty much gets why now.  It’s about acceptance and expression, not about attention or “hooking up”.

She was also concerned because one of the venues to which I want to go takes place at a gay bar. This strengthens the “hooking up” possibility in her mind (it’s not a factor for me) and makes her anxious.  The other venue–the one I want to go to more than the first–is at aCD/TG-friendly hotel bar (friendly, but not “catering to” per se, if you see the difference).  Suddenly  one of her fears is diminished and she thinks she’ll be okay with me going there.

She still has trust issues, but I hope that she will quickly see that she can still trust me even if I go out.  I put our marriage and our kids especially first. She knows this intellectually, she just needs to feel it emotionally.

I don’t know when my first night out will be, but hopefully in the next few weeks.  There is much going on in the local TG community right now of which I want to be a part.

I thank all of you for your prayers, your support, your words of encouragement.  You and others have made it possible for me to arrive at this point.  The journey’s not over–not by a long shot–but this is a huge step along the way, and one which I despaired of ever getting to. Thank you all for helping me get here.

Lord, it is because of the strength, courage and patience you’ve instilled in me–and that you renew every day–and the support of the friends whose paths you see fit to join with mine, that I celebrate this milestone in my life.  I thank you from the bottom of my soul, and place myself as always at your service. Let me use my gifts to be a brighter mirror to reflect more of your light into the world. In Jesus’ name, I thank you.

-Dianna Rose

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