I remember a time when being gay was almost “En Vogue,” sometimes applauded and showcased as some sort of a sexual trophy or prize. Now the shadowy, lesser-known transgendered community is starting to prominently place the capital “T” into the LGBT community.
For many of us, we might be saying, well, it’s about freakin’ time! In today’s media circus, we’re watching Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation into womanhood, the first transgendered house guest on TV’s Big Brother reality show and an ABC Family channel’s original series about the conflict of a teen’s acceptance of his Father’s journey into becoming a woman.
But I digress, way back when I was in school, even insinuating that you were gay was often the source of a brutal beating, along with daily ridicule, teasing and ignorant bullying from the vast majority of the mostly straight and more popular crowd. In Matthew Shepard’s case, he eventually died as a result of the beating he endured from the hands of his college-aged abusers almost twenty years ago now.
This not only sparked outrage, but also a nationwide debate about the nature of hate crimes and how those with differing sexuality were being mistreated and the degree that their tormentors were prosecuted. But fast forward to the twenty-first century and transgendered youth are so self-tortured by their sexuality and confusion about this important societal identity, they account for the highest number of young people attempting and succeeding at taking their own lives. Sadly, these suicidal figures are still being followed closely by younger gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.
As an older lesbian, I have watched and experienced a significant amount of change and acceptance over the last few decades. I can also make the obvious statement that I’m not overly fond of male genitalia. I’m not repulsed by it either, but at the same time, not particularly thrilled about it either.
But I can’t imagine the mental confusion I would have experienced if I was born with a fully functional penis. When I was young, I had enough societal pressure and trouble figuring out why I was attracted to girls instead of boys. And for those who are transgendered, going through puberty accompanied by raging hormones, they see themselves transforming into an incorrect gender. The overwhelming belief and an ever-present knowledge that they were actually born into this bullshit gender-specific body is a source of daily frustration, confusion and conflict shared by their equally young and perplexed gay counterparts.
I think I can sum it up this way … Many years ago I was playing billiards with an obviously straight couple in a gay bar when these night spots were mostly underground. While we were having a blast at the time, at some point I couldn’t help but ask, “You do realize this is a gay bar, correct?”
“Of course it is,” responded the male from the friendly twosome, “Straight bars are such a drag, everyone is so uptight and unaccepting.” I had to agree and we all noted that the LGBT community at large doesn’t really give a shit about your sexuality. We don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re gay or straight, black or white, Muslim or Methodist. If you’re a loving, kind and caring person, that’s what’s really important.
In this light, it seems as though society as a whole is also becoming more accepting and aware of various types of sexuality that may differ from our own. While members of the LGBT community only account for a very small percentage of the current population, the number of our friends and family continues to grow. They are also growing weary of the nonacceptance, ignorance and bigotry that we face daily and are happy to see some changes in society’s acceptance and perception of our struggles.
Does differing people’s trans-sexuality affect you in some way? Do you hate it or say hat’s off to these brave individuals for coming forward and sharing? What are your thoughts and concerns? Please contact us with your personal experiences.