I want to write about the Caitlyn Jenner thing but I'm not even quite sure how I feel about it. I mean, I'm very certain that I'm glad she's been able to do this- to become the woman she's always felt she was. The cover shot that Annie Leibovitz did of her is gorgeous and what I wish is that every trans person could have that feeling. That he or she is a gorgeous human being in the skin they want to be.
I wish that every trans person could get magazine covers and TV deals and book deals and every kind of respect and encouragement that they deserve.
But they don't and even Caitlyn is going to be attacked on every side by people who have no idea what they're talking about and whose minuscule little minds can't conceive of how it would feel to be born into a body that does not match with what someone feels is their true self.
I have a friend who has gone through hell and back getting reassignment surgery and he has suffered like no one I know and I have encouraged him to write about his experiences from childhood up until now. He is a very good writer and I think that a book that he wrote would be of huge importance in opening people's eyes to what it means to want a body that matches the soul and would inspire those who are going through similar situations.
All of the trans people I know are unsung heroes to me. Even as prejudice and intolerance towards gay folks is slowly ebbing and laws are being made to ensure their equal rights, we're not nearly there with trans people and as with most things, the more society learns, the less they will fear.
So yes, Caitlyn Jenner's very public transition is a good thing as was Chaz Bono's. (Brave man there!)
But it is one person at a time, you know. And some people are very public about their transitioning. Some are not. Some people don't give a damn shit about what society thinks but are simply more private people and some people risk losing their careers, their families, their communities if they follow their heart's dictate. Trans kids are bullied by their peers, misunderstood by their parents and teachers and doctors, and often told that they are "just going through a phase." Suicide rates are high. People like Matt Walsh proclaim that transgendered women are a threat to all women which strikes me as absurd as saying that homosexual marriage is a threat to heterosexual marriage. That statement is as illogical as it is bizarre. Mike Huckabee just delighted his followers by saying that he should have pretended to transgender in high school so that he could have showered with the girls. Florida's government spent I don't know how many hours this year trying to pass a law proclaiming that you had to use only the public bathroom which aligned with the gender you were born with.
And this is the thing- we're all so obsessed with private parts. What others do with theirs whether in bathrooms or bedrooms and it's just so absurd.
Tearful wrote the most beautiful post today and it got me to thinking that if we are all indeed one (which I truly believe) and that if we as humans share the every-ness of all, then those of us who spend our lives trying to create categories to fit people into whether of religion or skin color or gender or by country or beliefs or differing abilities and talents and interests, are really wasting a lot of time in an effort that in the end is fruitless. And to try and exclude people because of any of those things is insane.
Fear is at the root of so much of that sort of behavior I think. Sometimes, in my most compassionate of moods I feel sorry for those who are so filled with fear that it comes out as hate. Sometimes, I have to admit, I just want to smack the crap out of them.
But. Here's what I think- I think that each person should be allowed to be exactly the person they feel they are. You tell me you're a man and I'll take your word for it. Tell me you're a woman, the same.
It's all so much more complex and interesting and involved than a baby being born and someone saying, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!" and then knowing exactly how that child's life is going to go based on one organ or another. As if.
It's all part of the grand complexity of the human mind and heart and body and spirit that create the glorious color and texture and beauty of our existence here on earth.
And you know what else? Unless someone wants to tell me otherwise, it ain't my business what's in someone else's pants and for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone else would be concerned about it either. Look- we're all just trying to live our own lives. Why must any of us feel the need to be so fucking worried about what other people are doing if it's not endangering anyone? And don't be making up stupid bullshit reasons to prove that they are endangering others when it's patently not true in the least.
Guns endanger others.
Extreme religion endangers others.
Prejudice and intolerance endanger others.
Poverty and hunger endanger others.
Violence endangers others.
War endangers others.
And so forth.
Not Caitlyn Jenner unless she's driving. (Sorry. Bad joke. Very bad joke.) And not your coworker whom you suddenly notice is growing his hair out and painting his fingernails and starting to refer to himself as "she."
All right. Go forth and be who you are. Who the hell else can you be? And don't be afraid. Don't waste your life trying to be someone you're not and don't waste your life trying to tell others who they should be. That's pathetic. Worry about shit that matters.
Which might very well include being accepting of the transgendering of that coworker. Here's one more thing- they're just going to be the same person they were before. They might dress a little differently (or they might not), they might look a little different, they might wear their hair a little differently, they might be more relaxed and happy. They might have a different name. But they themselves are still the person they always were at the very core and heart. And if you loved them or liked them before, you're still going to love or like them.
Maybe even more. And use the goddam pronoun they'd like you to use. Okay? It's not that hard. You can do it. It's a sign of respect and acceptance.