True story of the transgender person in my life.
I will respect her anonymity by not revealing the relationship, but this is a person in my life whom I first met when she was a man.
I was inspired to write this because of this awesome story and video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/30/whittington-family-ryland-transgender-son_n_5414718.html
Direct link to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAHCqnux2fk#t=31
Just a personal aside, I didn’t ugly cry (for once), I pretty cried. I sat here smiling with tears running down my cheeks in the best heroine movie style.
Back to the main point however.
It was the shocking statistic that over 41% of transgender people attempt to commit suicide that struck a chord. My friend was one of those who tried to commit suicide.
I know as a nation we are squirrelly about sex and have an inordinate desire to control the sex lives of the young and beautiful. No seems to be quite so nosy about who the old farts are doing.
The problem is transgender has NOTHING to do with sex. We tend to use the words sex and gender interchangeably and incorrectly.
The burning desire inside one who is trapped in the wrong body is not about sex. It’s about identity at the deepest level. Simply having a set of genitalia dished out at birth is not the definition of what gender you are. It’s a brain thing.
This person in my life was an adult male when I met him. Kind of a cynical, snarly male. More on that later. But definitely observably male in many ways on the surface. He married. He raised two (awesome) children. He had a career. He always was good with tools and building and “manly” stuff like that. As they aged, his parents depended upon him to come and fix stuff at their house.
And he was so unhappy he tried to commit suicide but the only handy gun was a rifle so long he couldn’t reach the trigger with the barrel under his chin. Thank God.
Luckily he sought help and found it with a therapist and the LGBTQ community.
The first photograph I saw of her made me flinch from the fashion point of view. I am sad to say her fashion choices are… unfortunate, shall we say. The clothes are, um, flashy and she tends to match her eye shadow to her dress. *cringe* So over.
But what stopped me dead in my tracks is that for the first time since I’ve known her, she looked happy.
That smile was so stunning and her eyes (ringed with bright purple shadow though they may be) were glowing with a life and hope and energy that I’d never seen there before.
I defy anyone who sees that expression to say this is wrong. It’s so clearly right for her.
I am happy to say her entire family accepted her announcement and are supporting her in their own idiosyncratic ways. Her mother said the saddest thing is that she had to struggle on her own for so long, because when she was five she already knew she was not a boy.
She comes from a large family with lots of siblings. One of her brothers joked that finally the count between brothers and sisters was even. (Told you they were idiosyncratic.)
When I watched the video about Ryland Whittington, I want to celebrate the parents who are loving and accepting enough to allow Ryland to be himself.
I just wish every transgender person had that same support and love in their life.
To my new girlfriend, go forth, honey, and live the rest of your life as the woman you really are.