It seems like no matter where your turn in this day and age, something controversial is jumping out of your screen. Once upon a time, it used to be (and in some places still is) taboo to discuss sexuality and the origins of being homosexual, bisexual or just plain sexual. Now that most of the intelligently thinking population has gotten past this ‘moral’ hurdle, we are faced with a new unconventional concept… Transgender.
The same way that the world stood against the notion that being homosexual was not a choice but in fact predisposed genetically
Having two young girls myself and being what I like to think is a very open minded person, I have no qualms in explaining to them what the new TLC show called ‘I am Jazz’ is about. I am sure that the same cannot be said for everyone and believe that many will struggle with the concept that a person (and even young child) can identify with one gender when created in the likeness of another. The same way that the world stood against the notion that being homosexual was not a choice but in fact predisposed genetically (an ongoing argument amongst the intolerant).
I believe that as a people (generalisation) we place far too much emphasis on the who, the why, the when. People who are different are boxed and tagged and fitted with a Wikipedia description. If we can’t find an explanation, we shun and judge. And now, here on TV, is a little girl showing off her almost normal little life to the world as a young teenager – her only gripe is that boys find her almost repulsive because she is transgender. Because she has a penis, boys won’t look at her. Because she has a penis, boys don’t want to be gay. Because she has a penis, she must be a freak.
This totally grates my cheese.
Why is it so difficult for people to separate sexuality and gender? Just because a woman was born a man but now identifies as a woman, despite having the male bits and bobs, doesn’t mean she has to like woman because she has a penis or has to like men because now she is a woman. That is irrelevant! The important piece of the picture that is missed here is that she is a person who had the courage to live the life she was born too (Cue Lady Gaga music) and had the ‘balls’ (no pun intended) to come out of the gender closet open to ridicule and scrutiny. The same can be said for a man born a woman who identifies as a man – props to that guy! Applaud these people dammit, they are being who they were made to be – THEMSELVES, no matter what form that is in.
So now it’s time to talk about HER, flavour of the month Caitlyn Jenner. I am so sick and tired of people breaking her down because she is a household name. Because she had some semblance of fame pre transition, she seems to get the brunt of everyone’s judgement and after having watched her series ‘I am Cait’, I’m more in her corner than ever before! Here’s the thing, yes she did have it easier than most financially in terms of becoming a woman. Like most famous women, she can afford fashion stylists and make up artists and hair stylists and expensive clothing and lavish accessories and even surgeries. Does that change the severity of her transition? Not at all?! How can the nay sayers not see that being in the public eye was a major deterrent from speaking out and the fact that she is so engrained in the Kardashian empire made her transition all the more difficult. I don’t think it’s fair to belittle her experience – it is still a profound undertaking not be laughed at and fortunately for her she had the means to do it. Does it take strength? Absolutely. Is she as courageous as the next transgender person? Hell yes. The fact that so many sofa psychologists sit at home judging the manner in which she came out or the reason for it, is a perfect example of the inability to accept that someone did something because it was right for them and not right for everyone else. I have been watching her reality series and her struggles are real, but more importantly her struggles are her own and she has chosen to share them with the world. The show is also full of transitioning or transitioned transgender people, men and women, each with a story to tell – some stories sadder than others. It sickens me that the human race can be so cruel and unkind to that which they do not know and I will refuse to raise my children to be so closed minded.
Having a penis does not make you a man. Giving birth does not make you a woman.
The reality is that we exist in an ever changing, ever developing world. What was the ‘norm’ fifty years ago is no longer. I do not need to be a sailor to have tattoos. I do not need to be a goth to dye my hair black. Having a penis does not make you a man. Giving birth does not make you a woman. Society has no right to dictate what is best for my children and so either of them may turn around to me at any time to tell me that she is a man trapped in a woman’s body – that is not grounds for ridicule. I am not a perfect parent but the perfectly parent way is to accept my children for who they are…