Dear Transgender Community: Please Forgive the Idiocy of Me (and Everyone Else) Ahead of Time.

IMG_4018

By now it is common knowledge that someone recently made the switch from fully male to almost fully female. As we humans tend to do, we celebrated one day, then quibbled over why we were celebrating anything at all the next.

I’m not writing this to support or not support anyone. I think what people do in the privacy of their own magazine cover shoots is their own business. However, as the Transgender world becomes commonplace, more and more questions will be asked. So, I’m writing this because I want the Transgender community to know that I, and many others believe what you do is amazing and are fully for it, but at the same time….

Please have patience with us when we say stupid shit.

For example, the other day I had made a comment at a dinner party and/or Facebook, “it’s amazing that Bruce has finally become Transgender”.

Immediately someone called me out, “she’s already Transgender! She’s been transgender her whole life! And it’s CAITLYN not BRUCE!”

Ok, Ok, sorry my Transgender spell check was not turned on that day. I realized saying “finally becoming transgender” was pretty stupid of me, moments after I said it. But then I thought more and wondered… “what would I replace that word with?” What exactly had he become? Is he officially a woman now? And if I said “woman” it could still be argued that “he’s been a woman his whole life” I even googled it, and the best I could come up with is “post op”. But who the hell wants to be called that? “I have a post-op friend you should meet”.

Then there’s still that burning question of…. “what do you have down there?” I remember Laverne Cox made this a big deal when she was on Katie Couric’s short lived show. Couric basically asked that same question, “Do you still have it?” I am a 32 year old gay male, and I still have no idea what happens down there. But I am also among many other people who are curious. Yes, you could say it’s none of my business, but the very idea of labeling yourself as transgender is saying “I was born with the wrong parts”. So what’s so wrong about asking what parts you currently have? That line not to be crossed seems to be a thin squiggly one.

I guess it could be argued that being “gay” means “I like to have sex with men”, therefore it would be like someone asking me, “what do you do with other guys?” And though on a live broadcast I may not answer that question verbatim, I can appreciate the curiosity. Why? Because someone wants to know the right answer, and they don’t want to only know what Laverne Cox has down there, they want to know what Transgender people as a whole have down there.

Otherwise people are just left to their imagination and when humans kind of know something, they tend to state one half and make-up the other. I heard this the other day at a cafe, “…and that younger Jenner girl is just nuts, she had her lips done and I think she’s pregnant.” Half true, half I don’t care to look up any of this information I may have heard from someone else.

Of course, Laverne Cox can answer any way she pleases, but I wouldn’t be quick to jump down someone’s throat for asking the same question everyone asked this week at the dinner table, and probably still don’t have the right answer to. No, you’re right I wouldn’t want someone to ask me about my genitals, but when I’m on a show that’s somewhat about me changing those genitals, I wouldn’t exactly be surprised when this becomes a topic.

Then back to the whole he/she thing. Listen, I’m going to call “Caitlyn”, “Bruce” sometimes and vice-versa. I can barely remember a name of someone who’s only had one, much less someone who changed their name halfway through. Do I need a regular rolodex, and post-op one now?

But even then, was Bruce, Caitlyn his whole life? Was he a she his whole life? If not when exactly did that change happen? Did surgery change it? Or does the person decide it?

My point to this is, there isn’t a right answer. If I talked to 20 transgender people they would tell me a different answer. I would hope they would all give me a different answer. Because biologically it’s still not something we as humans understand. There are still a lot of questions that aren’t answered. And whether a transgender person likes it or not there isn’t a “Transgender Rule Book”, because it would be impossible. It would be like a gay couple compromising on the paint color of their bedroom, eventually you’ll just flip a coin.

And even if I’m completely wrong, which is very possible, and there is one answer to all of these questions, remember most people are asking the same exact questions I am. Therefore most people will slip up.

So I just ask the Transgender community to please, when we ask questions, it’s because we’re trying to understand and learn so we don’t come off as the babbling idiots we are. And if we say something that may sound stupid to you, I assure you it probably is, but just like you we’re trying to find our way and all we ask is you take our hand and show us the light.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Dear Transgender Community: Please Forgive the Idiocy of Me (and Everyone Else) Ahead of Time.

  1. I think you have really put this as best as anyone could. Even to someone in support of, and a member of, the LGBTQ community, I am still only human. I think what you’re saying is, it’s natural to want to know more, to want answers, and information so we don’t appear to be like our phobic, non-supportive counterparts. Even having looked up info, it’s sometimes hard to find the answers we’re looking for. I know that I don’t want to miss-speak and sound like an ass and a phobic. Thank you for putting this out there!

  2. I know this is an old post, but I just stumbled upon it. I agree that it’s difficult to navigate! One thing that sort of stuck out to me was the question of :

    “But even then, was Bruce, Caitlyn his whole life? Was he a she his whole life? If not when exactly did that change happen? Did surgery change it? Or does the person decide it?”

    After watching “I am Cait” it’s my understanding that Caitlyn wasn’t chosen as a name until just before the transition. The person definitely decides what the name is. She also refers to herself as Bruce when it comes to identifying a time of her life pre-op.

    I work at a GLBT Services office at a university. I’ve had a crash course in learning how to navigate these situations, as I was asked to fill in after a staff member resigned. One of the biggest things I’ve found to be helpful is to be bluntly honest by asking for patience. I’ve literally told a student “You’ll need to forgive me if I mis-pronoun you, because I’m terrible with that”.

    I think your post was really insightful and honest. We need more of that.

    • Thank you very much for the comment. Yes I agree. I’ve had trouble discovering what I want this blog to be. I didn’t want to make it just ONE thing. Just political or just satire or just commentary. But because of that it’s very hard to market it and even moreso categorize everything in a way that makes sense. What is Bluepers’ Diary? I believe my next step will be releasing the comedy posts…but my only hesitation with that is those bring in the most views. Any ideas you might have.. PLEASE let me know. Aaronsmallets@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s