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.