Let me first start off by saying this entry is not to judge anyone but to give a different perspective on things.
It seems like I have heard of transgender for as long as I can remember. I remember learning about Chasity Bono wanting to become Chaz Bono. My view had always been it’s your business, who am I to judge. I never really thought about it.
Then recently I saw a post on Facebook about the family Lemay. They have a five-year old daughter who they are raising as a transgender. The question on Facebook was what we thought about it. My heart felt for the parents. My first reaction was how much they must love their child to do whatever was needed to see their child happy. The other comments that were posted shocked me. They shocked me to the point that I removed myself from the conversation. People called them abusive and horrible parents for doing such a thing.
Watching Bruce Jenner on the Kardashian show has always fascinated me. He seemed like such a loving man but you could see something was going on with him emotionally. I recorded his interview with Diane Sawyer and my heart broke for him. You could see the pain in his eyes. My initial thought was that I applauded him for what he was doing and the courage to do it. Yet now that he has transitioned to her my tune is changing a little.
First, when Caitlyn finally revealed herself why did she have to do it in lingerie? I don’t care how classy you think it was done. Why couldn’t she have the cover be in one of the beautiful dresses she wore for the shoot? I was saddened by that. I felt that it was no longer about the transformation of this person but more about their physical changes. I don’t think whether or not he/she had breast surgery done or sexual reassignment surgery is what it should have been about but the support of him simply becoming a her.
Second, the image of a boy or girl and the stereotypes of being a boy or girl have been created by society. We are at fault. As early as the hospital, each baby is labeled. God created each of us. He gave us a sexual gender as we know it (boy or girl). Yet, some people relate better to the opposite sex or feel as though they should have been different.
I took a course in college called Psychology of Women. In that class we talked about teaching our kids to be gender neutral and not pushing girls to play with ‘girl’ stuff or dress like a typical ‘girl’. I thought it was a great idea and that we all should be doing that. Yet, when I had kids things changed. Even before the child is born we ‘pick a color’ to paint the room and register for gifts. It is so hard to stay neutral. Yes, I know some who have managed to at least start off gender neutral but it doesn’t seem to last. We have been programmed to define ourselves as a lady or a gentleman and if you are not you get picked on or judge.
I grew up with 5 brothers and I loved doing what the boys did and playing with the toys they played with. Hey, my mom did a great job now that I think about it. I wore a lot of my brother’s stuff. Did you know that boy and girl jeans button differently? I didn’t learn that until high school when I bought my first pair of ‘girl’ jeans. I couldn’t believe it. I would have been considered on tomboy and I was proud of it. Granted I didn’t feel like I was a boy living in a girl’s body but did I sure envy the boys. I thought they had it so easy compared to everything girls had to go through.
My point is that I wish people didn’t feel like they had to go to such drastic measures to change who they are. Yes, Bruce Jenner had the money to forge ahead with surgeries but many don’t.
I truly am not sure how I feel about this subject anymore. I don’t know if I can say I agree with the family that decided to change their daughter’s name and whole image. I do know that I will try my hardest not to judge and I will teach my children not to judge another person. If there is a girl who has the image of a ‘tomboy’ or a boy who may have long hair, we have to love them and accept them. It isn’t about what we see but who they are. We have to learn to see past the outside. If we can learn to not judge based on outward appearances maybe those who feel trapped in their own bodies will be able to find a little more peace.
I hope that as parents we teach our kids acceptance. To accept each other for WHO they are not what they look like. If my son wants to have long hair or wear nail polish I hope he won’t be judged. If my daughter wants to have buzzed hair or not wear dresses I will love her for her. Maybe it isn’t about going to such drastic measures to change ourselves but embrace who we are and learn to love ourselves the way we are.
No matter what I hope for anyone who feels they are a transgender we can accept you for whatever you chose. We can learn to not judge but understand and to love, not hate one another.
copyright 2014 Sheila M Scarpulla. All rights reserved. No reproduction without written consent