I wrote the following blog a few weeks ago, and I needed to marinate on it for a bit, which is why it took me a minute to post it. But the time has come...
As you all know, I am a member of the LGBT community, I'm an L. Although I really consider myself a G, since I think G should mean all the G's, men and women, and I believe the L in "LGBT" is a little useless since it ends up separating the women from the men. And it feels stupid to separate us. I mean, if someone asks me "are you gay?" I never say "no, I'm a lesbian". I'm a G, through and through. A G that likes the L's(ladies). AnyLGBT, I am a member of this community, and I have long struggled with my feelings and my understanding of the T's that are part of it.
That probably sounds horrible, I feel horrible about it, and at times, I've been passionate about my feelings regarding the transgender community. For me, gay rights, the fight that *I'm* fighting, has always been about me being able to legally marry the woman I love, and for other gays to be able to legally marry the same-sex person that they love. I wondered what I had in common with the transgender community, since my understanding is that it's not about who they want to have sex with and marry, it's about which gender they identify with. It's about being born with parts that don't match what their brain says. I know that's a very simplified explanation, but I best understand things when they are made simple. But this is why I've struggled, because for me, my fight is absolutely about who I want to have sex with, it's absolutely about being able to legally marry the person that I want to have sex with. It has nothing to do with the plumbing I was born with. I've often come to the decision that our fight isn't the same, because if a trans person legally changes their sex, they can then enter into a heterosexual marriage. So...how is our fight the same? I wondered if the T community was thrown in with the G's simply because we're different from the heteros. I wondered if they even wanted to be there with us. I'm starting to realize that it doesn't matter that it's not the same fight, they are a community I *should* be fighting for, and a community that I'm proud be a part of.
Like most G's, I was floored by hearing President Obama talk about Stonewall in his inauguration speech, and then follow it up with this: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." I was a hot mess of snot and tears, trust. That was the first time a president mentioned us on a stage that big. It was incredible to hear, and something I will never forget. I was living in a state of bliss about it until I saw an article about an essay written by an 11 year old transgender girl in response to Obama's speech. I saw it, and I read it, and I started to have my eyes opened to just how fucking hard it is for the transgender community. I've thought that before, don't get me wrong. But it's been a passing thought, it never stuck with me. So after reading this essay written by this beautiful girl named Sadie, I started reading some more, searching out articles, I read something called "15 Things to Know About Being Transgender", I watched interviews and videos, mostly of a young girl named Jazz, who is a transgender 12 year old getting ready to start puberty, which, from what I recently read and heard, is a terrifying thought to a transgender child. Can you imagine? It's already scary as shit, but to go through it as a little girl who was unfortunately born with a penis, who, if allowed to enter into puberty without blocking the testosterone, will get a deep voice, will sprout hair...everywhere, it's unimaginable. Jazz loves mermaids. I mean, LOVES THEM. Wants to be one. Why? Because they have nothing "down there". And nothing down there is far more preferable than the penis she was born with.
I can't imagine how hard it must be to loathe your genitals. I can't even deal with the idea of hating my vagina...I mean, I hate mine once a month when it's an axe wound, but the rest of the time, I love it. I can't wrap my head around not ever wanting to look down at myself, or see myself naked in a mirror because what was down there didn't match with what was up here(you can't see me, but I just pointed to my crotch, and then to my head). This is what our transgender brothers and sisters deal with every.single.day. There are doctors who won't treat them, bathrooms they can't go into, sports teams that won't let them participate, and millions of people who won't open their minds and educate themselves. I was one of those people. I still don't fully understand, and I'm kind of thankful, because to fully understand is to be transgender, and that is a cross I'm not sure I'm strong enough to bear. What I do fully understand is how important it is to learn more so I can know more. How important it is to fight with them, stand up with them and next to them, and be open-minded about their struggle. And I also fully understand that any time there is a group of people that aren't being treated like everyone else because they are different, no matter what that difference is, that is *always* my fucking fight.
I encourage you to learn more if you don't know much. I encourage you to read Sadie's letter, and watch Jazz's story. Those are just 2 of the countless transgender people who are brave enough to live their truth. And I want to apologize to a community that I wasn't sure was mine...how happily wrong I was.
I Am Jazz
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wh6NecfMiE
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuoJEy70XjE
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwoYrYLtkJA
*if I thought coming out as gay was hard, I need to try and think about how hard it is to come out as transgender. But in saying that, my hope is that transgender people continue to come out, and hopefully at a more...rapid pace. The more people get to know you, the more they'll know your struggle, and the more they will fight to make it right. The more they know...the more we all know. Ugh, I guess NBC had the right idea with those PSA's...