At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'm going to be talking about all things trans in this post.
I wonder these days about what it would be like if I had been born into the proper body, or that I had transitioned earlier, or that I had not been raised in the Mormon church... You know, all the what if's. Virginie and I talk all the time about these things, and you know what? There are never any answers to the questions. They are just distractions for the most important thing. Moving on...
It's not that easy to move on though. I've had people from my old church congregation coming over on the weekend to help build my new fence. They are all very helpful. They smile, work hard, but don't ask any questions. Then, I unfortunately get more information about how people gossip, and how they "really feel", and I get very angry that people don't ask questions so they don't have to harbour these feelings all the time. Feelings of disagreement and judgment. I mean it too. I realize many people feel that I am "ruining" my children by doing this. I'm teaching them to make poor decisions with my poor example. I would like to not feel this way, but everyone seems to skirt around the issue, leaving me with no information at all, and I can only assume it's one thing... transphobia.
I love the following explanation on cognitive dissonance:
"According to theory, states of dissonance will leave us uncomfortable. Like thirst or hunger we will have an urge to bring a return to consonance. There are many ways to resolve dissonance: 1) Change your cognitions (beliefs, attitudes, behavior), 2) Add new cognitions to explain or balance the conflict, 3) Alter the importance of the cognitions."(http://www.rationalrevelation.com/library/cogdis.html)
When I would watch a scary movie when I was young, my father would tell me if I didn't want to have bad dreams about what I watched, I should "think about it". It seemed completely counter-intuitive to me. Wouldn't thinking about it more make me even more scared? Actually, it didn't thinking about it allowed me to find enough closure in my mind, that my mind didn't need to act it out during the night. I'm serious about this. If you want to dream about something? Think about it, and then stop. Cast it out. Your mind will pick it up again as you sleep.
So here it is. What is being transgendered all about? Quite simply, when a persons mental gender does not match their bodies gender. It has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality at all. In my case, I have always felt female, even though I have a male body. So why is this a big deal anyway? I've found no better explanation than this:
"Consider this: from the first moment of defined existence, a person is identified and then classified as either male or female. This classification by sex assigned at birth influences every moment of a person's life thereafter. The very essence of socialization -- how each of us relates to our parents, friends, spouse, lovers, our work, our religious and philosophical beliefs -- everything we are, is contingent on assigned sex. I think you can imagine the enormous challenge a person with Gender Identity Disorder faces trying his or her best, every day, every moment, to live up to an assigned sex he or she has no innate affinity to." (http://www.avitale.com/GuiltShame.htm)
I think all I really want to say is this...
We are real.
Trans-folk have deep feelings, and have struggled deeply with something most would take completely for granted, to the point, it would not even cross anyones mind to question gender. I want to tell people that I'm not dangerous. I'm not even confused anymore, now that the gender dysphoria is gone. I'm not a danger to you, your family, or your children. I don't molest kids, I don't have weird sexual rituals, and as far as sexual preference goes, I have only one. Virginie. I would not even say I'm homosexual, or heterosexual. I'm Virginie-sexual. I love her, and only her in that way. I could not imagine my life without her, and I will live the remainder of my days, doing my best to treat her like the queen that she is.
In my opinion, that's what kind of people trans-folk are. So before making a judgement on a transgendered person because you are sure they are perverted, find out more about them. Talk to them. Listen to their story, because I can promise you, it will be one of heart break, sacrifice, renewal, disappointment, love, disgust, faith, and above all... hope.
This is what we do when we love someone.