Understanding the “T”

Does writing a Yelp Review count as writing for the blog? No?!  Shoot.

I have been thinking a lot this week on how to follow up on the My First Truth blog.  After thinking on it I think I’ll give a hard example that hits a topic that is very current and try to explain some things about it and perhaps create a bit more understanding.  The topic is transgender.

I have written in the past about transgender and my attempts to understand it better.  After writing the previous post on it I had a conversation with a friend of mine on the topic.  He had brought up the question, “Isn’t being transgender a mental problem or a disorder?” 2000px-Whitehead-link-alternative-sexuality-symbol.svg

Now before you attack him or me, he is not attacking transgender rights he is asking a legitimate question.  In loose literal terms the answer is yes with a big “but” at the end.  At the time I didn’t have a good answer for him.  I am no expert on this topic.  I come from the position that we are all individuals with our own problems and reasons and as long as your choices are good and don’t affect me negatively, be who you want to be.  Actions that interfere with who you are, how you dress, what you worship, etc. are destructive and usually based on taught fear and hate.

I was brought up in a Christian household and was taught the golden rule, to agape love everyone, and to judge not lest ye be judged.  What I was never taught about was that any group of people were evil.  There was evil in the world but all of God’s creatures are a part of God’s plan.

What I wasn’t taught about was LGBTQ.  Not good or bad it just wasn’t talked about.  I knew that gays existed (Looking back, I knew a few) But I never really thought about it.  Going away to college I started to meet people and treated them as I wanted to be treated.  I always attempted to start with the golden rule when meeting anyone.  And in doing so I made some of the best friends of my life.

The first (known) transsexual I really met was a friend of a friend who’s place we hung out at once.  I don’t remember much of the conversations we had that night other than her being a talker and me being my naturally quiet self.  My biggest memory of that night was when I was leaving her giving me a big hug and saying through tears, “Thanks for being normal.”

I didn’t understand it at the time.  Heck I’m not even sure I had the term for what she was in my vocabulary.  But just by treating her like just another person must have been rare for her.  That is something I could never understand happening to me.

Getting back to my friend’s question.  It comes from a place of just not knowing.  Let me do my best to explain from a straight male perspective. (Cis-plaining because that’s all I can do.) Gender dysphoria is a medical term meaning the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex. So yes it is a mental condition. Let’s talk about how it would feel mentally.

Let’s say you woke up one morning and everything was the same but your body was now the opposite sex.  If you are male and now your dick is gone and you have a vagina and boobs.  The opposite for the females reading it.  Getting past the shock and the exploring of your new body, after a few days or weeks how would you feel?  Would you be comfortable wearing dresses? Could you switch who you were attracted to?  Would you still feel the same about sex with your new body?

After a month or a year of living on this body that isn’t yours what would you do?  Would you seek an operation to change you back? Would you take the hormones to change your body to what would be correct in your head?  What bathroom would you feel comfortable using? Leave these question in the back of your mind over the next few days.

For those with gender dysphoria that is what they have dealt with since they were kids.  They don’t wake up and choose to be that way, they just are.  In the hypothetical you didn’t choose your gender, it just happened.  I’m guessing most of you would not be able to just accept being the opposite gender.

People are who they are.  Their actions come from their own life experiences.  If you want people to change you need to accept where they come from as something very meaningful to them.  As your past is very meaningful to you.  To dismiss it as wrong dismisses every person, family member, and experience they have had as wrong.

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