It’s not why you may think. I’m not about to hop up here on my high horse and preach about “normalcy” and what it means to be a woman. I’m not here to spread more hate, more fear geared toward a group of people who are already the target of so much misunderstanding and wrath.
This mom is pissed off after reading the nasty words people are spewing about a person they don’t know, a process they don’t understand and a struggle they have never felt. While Caitlyn Jenner’s experience is not typical for a transgender person, mainly due to fame and millions of dollars, her public transformation has created an opportunity to open a dialogue. At the very least, due to the reach of the Kardashian fame machine, there will be people who may begin to understand just a touch of what trans folks go through, where they are coming from, and how this is not a “choice”.
I am not an expert by any means. But I am not unfamiliar with the topic, and am learning more so that I may educate myself and my children. I do have friends who are trans and have gained quite a bit of insight lately that I am thankful for. I want to understand what other people are experiencing, because it’s short sighted to think that my own experience is the only one that matters.
People have called me a “dirty liberal” or made fun of the fact that I accept people for who they are, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. I know, it’s crazy. And as a family, we are raising our daughters to see people as equal even if (wait for it, WAIT FOR IT) they aren’t exactly the same as us.
This is where I flew off the mother fucking handle this morning. Comment after comment from people using words like “it”, deliberately making fun of her appearance, playing down the horrific struggle a transgender youth will go through in his or her lifetime trying to figure out how to fit in, crying out to “make this go away” because they didn’t want to see this in their news feeds?
Cry me a river. How is this news hurting you? How is acknowledging another person’s journey, whether it matches yours or not going to affect your life? Pretending this doesn’t exist will not make it go away. People tried to do this for years with homosexuality, and still do. How well did that work out for the parents whose narrow minded views kept their gay children so afraid to come out they either cut all ties with their families or ended their lives? Putting our damn heads in the sand and ignoring an issue we’d rather not deal does not help anyone. Blinders simply keep people ignorant.
I have had quite a few messages in the past when I have stood up for equal rights, or gay marriage, or anything not “normal” in the eyes of the Normal Police. The most common is “But what would YOU do if YOUR CHILD was GAY!?!?! What then? You’d change your tune.”
As if that was going to make me suddenly go, “Oh no, not my child, they would never.” Nope.
No matter what, my children are my children. And if either of my daughters comes to me and tells me she is gay, or is struggling with gender, I’m here for her. Period. She will not be treated like she’s “sick” or “weird” or “wrong” or needs to be “fixed”. Because you can’t pray away who you are. You don’t go to a doctor to get fixed, or hardwired back to someone else’s idea of “normal”.
You find someone who can help you understand what you’re feeling, how to deal with it, and where to go from there. I tell you what, though. NO matter the subject, there is nothing on this earth that would make me turn away from my child. Instead of judgment, I’d try to understand.
And that’s at the heart of all the crass jokes, the outrage, the Bible beating, the shaming… people fear what they don’t understand. Always have. So, make fun of what you fear. Find a group of people, form a pack of like minded fear mongers, and make fun of what you fear within a safe haven of numbers. Reject the notion that your “normal” isn’t really how the world is, because opening your eyes would mean accepting that THOSE PEOPLE and THOSE IDEAS have been here all along…
Terrifying, isn’t it?
So, put down your bullshit argument that trans people are an aberration, and should be happy with “what God gave them” because anyone who has ever had an illness remedied, a tumor removed, or altered his or her body in any way at any time has changed “what God gave them” and is a hypocrite.
Stop using the handful of verses in the Bible you remember that are conveniently used by people when they want to write off what they’re afraid of.
If you’re going to be hateful, own it. Be honest about it. Admit that you’re scared because if it’s true that there are transgender folks out there, and have been for a long time, then everything you’ve ever thought about traditional roles, and rules, and people and everything might just be antiquated, in need of a little update. Admit that you’re uncomfortable with gender reassignment because it’s just too far out of your comfort zone.
If you’re going to be a bigot, don’t hide behind the labels of “traditionalist” or “Christian” or “mother” or “man” or “normal” because it’s offensive to the people who wear those labels without spreading hate.
I applaud Caitlyn Jenner for being brave enough to come out and be herself, because her story might help one person feel like he or she is not alone in this world. Shame on those of you who say nasty things and spread hurt around like it’s a game. That kind of holier than thou judgment has a lot to do with what’s wrong with our country right now.