I got to meet her at last years SCC. I had written her a "fan letter" earlier, telling how shy I as about approaching her the year before. She graciously wrote back and told me she would be glad to meet me and have a picture taken of us together. She did just that.
I recently attended an important business meeting where our conversation sadly veered from matters at hand and became immersed with "transgenderism" due to the shenanigans of a ridiculous talk show.
I quelled my little rebellion by quipping: "Every culture has its trailer-trash. If tomorrow's episode is about mother's who date their daughter's boyfriends, am I to assume every mother in this room is a card-carrying member of that same class?" Everyone quieted down momentarily & recognized the fallacy of their thoughts until another person espoused content from a web site by a recognized tranz-leader who didn't identify with being transgender because they were some sort of super-transsexual. The conversation only got worse & eventually my meeting lay in ruins.
Upon returning home I visited the web site in question & found myself disgusted by both the direct & indirect overtones of its author. I was pissed. The nature of my new company is forcing potential partners to answer the question: "How will customers perceive our involvement and/or endorsement of your enterprise?" That question was once challenging. Now? It's almost impossible to resolve due to the never-ending lack of acceptance of who we are - amongst ourselves.
After surpassing my aggravation, I found myself re-reading sections of reneereyes.com & realized that a layperson could find my own musings equally confusing.
The bottom line?
If ever a culture was totally consumed with being anything except what it is...we're "it".
This revelation caused me to reflect upon earlier years of being "gay". I knew lots of people that hid this fact - many that still do. However, I don't know any that classify themselves into more than a couple of varied forms. Can you imagine how stupid it would sound today if they tried to divide themselves up into gay, kind-of gay, sort-of-gay, certified-gay, gay self-centered, gay-sexual only, etc...and expected the world to properly address their circumstances for each instance?
Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?
This...is exactly what we're doing in the transgender community. At almost every turn, you'll find members of our small minority obsessing to differentiate & distance themselves from others. I understand why it happens because I've been guilty myself. After you spend days, months, weeks - even years crossing difficult chasms in your evolution, it's natural to want to proclaim your accomplishments. Since the band rarely stirs for Queer-central, our simplest notion is often to create some fresh accolade of differentiation from our brethren. In that process? We win a battle...and start losing a war.
To be birthed transgendered is to be born in a cage. If & when you find the courage and strength to escape this slavery - you'll subsequently do almost anything to steer clear of attitudes that directly or indirectly reconnect your shackles. This includes separating yourself from others in our community that are not yet as stealthy or healthy.
Is this right?
No - it isn't. I think we'd all agree that just because another gal has better genetics for transition, better financial resources, less facial hair, a smaller frame, a higher IQ, or more confidence...doesn't make her a better woman. Rather, it just makes her appear to be a better woman. Being better is about helping others...not self-serving differentiation. The women most of us admired & emulated never took that latter path.
I'm very proud to be a transgender female. Every single day, I'm forced to deal with the implications of other transgender women's means of expression. It's sometimes thrown in my face & can cost me dearly. At times, I differentiated myself from others in my community based upon either frustration or a need to feel special.
From this day forward...any person facing gender identity issues that shows enough courage to apply make-up, don a wig & stroll outside the safety of their own home in a dire need to express their alternative persona? I could care less what scale of transsexualism they're subsequently rated. I'm gonna' stand beside you no matter how well or poorly you "pass". I might privately remind you that by now facing a public world, you're now an ambassador to everyone's transgender cause. However, if you walk out that door...I'll remain proud to claim you as my "own". I'd like to challenge all my sisters to do likewise.
Come to think of it...there was once another group of people facing similar troubles in this great land. While our plights are different, the solution remains the same. Our commonalities far exceed our differences: transgendered...join, or die.
Until we all get that?
We're going no place in a hurry. Or as John Paul Jones put it most eloquently: "You can't sink half a ship".
Keep the faith...