I️ really appreciate these wonderful and courageous folks for sharing their thoughts and experiences.
One of my friends was interviewed in this video called “A Few Things to Know About Being Transgendered.”
I really give her and everyone else in this props for being so open and courageous! Even within the GLBTQ community, transgender folks sometimes experience mistreatment. They are not “male” enough, “female” enough, or even “gay” enough. Is a Male to Female person who’s attracted to women gay or straight? Which bathroom should they use? Are they a “real” transgender person if they haven’t had surgery (yet)?
I think when we stop trying to identify transgender people one way or another and just let them tell us, it would help the world be a better place.
One thing I have found is that people tend to understand “gay” more than “transgender”. Even if you don’t support the idea that people have the right to love who they want, being gay is arguably more clear than what being transgender means.
When I fuss with family or friends about certain things, I say “You don’t have to understand why. I’m just asking you to accept and not give me a hard time about it.” In other words, you don’t have to understand why transgender people do what they do. You don’t have to understand why some have surgery and other don’t. You don’t have to understand any of that to still demonstrate that every person has inherent worth and dignity. That every person is free to do what they want and feel the way they feel, especially as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.
You can support equal access to bathrooms, laws that prohibit discrimination against transgender peoples, and other things that support human rights while not understanding or even agreeing with all things transgender.
For example, your spouse doesn’t have to understand why you’re sad about something in particular. Not understanding why doesn’t and shouldn’t preclude them from still being supportive and encouraging to you.