5 August 2019

When The Space Between Whens was published, I waited for the fallout. There was sure to be fallout, because I’d normalized something a few people I knew were certain was not normal, and HOW COULD I? What hiccup in my brain would ever think that was normal? GOD WILL SMITE YOU

And I was not wrong. I heard everything from “You’re closet trans, aren’t you, you freak?” to “I hope you get hit by a bus and I am never ever ever ever reading anything you write again you horking doodyhead.”

I may be paraphrasing a bit.

But, yeah, I went there. I have several trans friends; a couple are openly out, a couple are not. I knew one or two long before they began the processes of getting their bodies to match their gender; I knew one or two long after and would have had no idea had they not said something. Truthfully, the only things that matter to me about the journey each of them is on is that they’re safe, and that they’re happy.

Neither of those things is a given, no matter who you are. But when you’re openly trans, or even when people think you might be, you are not safe. Not in today’s political climate. .

There are a myriad of reasons I wrote about a boy who, despite the more normative culture I envision the Wick universe to reside in, has zealously held onto his secret, who was then presented with an option that every trans friend I have wanted: easy, affordable, it’s-your-right medical care. To not just appear the gender they know they are, but for the world to not have a way to determine they were ever anything BUT who they know they are. Mostly, I wanted people to see themselves in Jay; the horror of how he’s treated by his stepfather, the conflicting emotions he feels toward the man standing in his way, and the hoops that people who truly love him will go through to make his life a tiny bit easier. I’d hoped that by seeing his pain and then his victory, people would soften their views, even a little bit.

Well…since I am now apparently going to Hell because I, for even one moment, think there’s nothing wrong with THOSE PEOPLE, I fell short.

Or maybe there’s no reasoning with some people.

I don’t know.

What confuses me most about the people who had issues with the subject is that they present themselves as good, true Christians. When Target (the store) made it clear they weren’t going to stop people from using the restroom of their choice regardless of what’s between their legs, the same people got their shorts in a wad, stomped their feet, and swore they would NEVER shop there again.

Spoiler: they shopped there again.

When the military began allowing transgendered members to serve openly, they wailed. OMG HOW CAN THEY? They clutched their pearls and began hyperventilating at the idea of military surgeons performing gender surgeries….never taking into account that those surgeons need to operate across a myriad of specialties because things happen in war, and if your junk gets blown off, who do you want holding the scalpel? The guy who can do little more than perform a urostomy, or the guy who has, legitimately, crafted genitals for 500 other people?

And always, always, the objections come down to religion. YOU’RE PISSING GOD OFF WITH YOUR QUEER ACCEPTANCES.

Yeah, no. I don’t think so.

God’s not a dick.

I’m sorry you think so little of Him.

Here’s the thing, where I was headed to with all this: you don’t have to understand someone who’s journey is one you don’t understand nor wish to take. You don’t have to believe that it’s normal. You don’t have to believe that it’s right. But if you have any compassion, any sense of morals and ethics, you do have to back off and allow people their right to pursue happiness in whatever form they choose, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

And a transgendered individual doesn’t hurt you, not really.

Offense is not hurt. Offense is lack of understanding.

Not mine, but I shared it on FB yesterday
That person heading into the restroom, the one you think just walked through the wrong door? They know where they need to be. They’re not there to do anything to you. They’re going in because they are subject to the same biological processes you are, and they just want to pee. You think that’s a man going in to do things to women and little girls? No…she just wants to pee. Maybe she still has a penis, maybe not, but she’s not there to do anything but take care of her own needs.

Stammer all you want. You know I’m right. If you pay any attention at all to statistics, you are fully aware that you’re not in harm’s way. If you’re honest with yourself, you know that sending your little boy into a men’s room with men who were correctly assigned gender at birth are more at risk than anyone else being in a restroom with someone in transition.


Here’s another thing: it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters how I treat people. But truthfully, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or weird or abnormal about being transgendered—or nonbinary, gender fluid, or gender queer. I think people know who they are and what they are, and it’s not up to me to define that for them. And if you get right down to it, I also don’t think it matters if someone wants to change gender on a whim. It’s not my life.


:::shrugs::: I think by now I would know if that were an issue, but it wouldn’t change anything. I wouldn’t leave. I wouldn’t freak out. I love the Spouse Thingy for who the Spouse Thingy is, and there’s not much that could change that. I would miss the beard, though. I really dig the beard.

Love is love is love is love.

You don’t have to believe any of it is normal. You truly don’t. You’re allowed to be uncomfortable and twitchy about the whole thing. But that doesn’t give you license to stand in someone’s way. It really doesn’t.

Matthew 7:1

Go on. Look it up. I’ll wait.


Lead with love, I imagine.

And if you’re not sure, if the whole idea creeps you out, if you don’t want to judge but can’t help yourself?

Be kind.

That’s it.

Be kind.


Gemini and Ichiro said...

I don't understand people who freak out about bathrooms. A very good friend is trans and if she and I went into the ladies room, likely I'd be the one who got questioned.

So yeah, F* 'em.

There are kids out there who don't see themselves represented and now they do. That means something.

Vicat said...

Funny thing, when reading SBW I didn't even think of it in those terms, I was just thinking, okay Jay is being hurt but is having a medical procedure done (and my next surgery I totally want to pod it) and will be fine. That's it.
I didn't even think of it as a gender/religious/burn in helly kind of thing.

Elisa said...

I am so sick to death of all of the biases. It does not matter whether someone is trans, gay, purple, straight, asexual, pansexual, or wants to be a frigging horse. They certainly can be whomever they feel will get them through this life with the most happiness and least amount of BS. No one has the right to damn anyone else, because every single person has 1 or 2 skeletons somewhere. Christians who beat their Bibles on Sunday, but sleep with their spouse's best friend on Friday are those who yell the loudest. Give it up people. Live and let live.

Elisa said...

You are so right. It not only means something, but to those kids being represented it means EVERYTHING.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing I don't get: all the people saying "God doesn't make mistakes," and "If your life is hard, God is testing you," and "God helps those that help themselves," -- how do they know that God didn't specifically create transgender people intentionally to 1) test whether "his" people were able to follow the commandment to judge not lest ye be judged or love one another or welcome the stranger or 2) to challenge transgender people to live as He created them?

Or even for some other reasons known only to God? I mean, if we're talking about an omnipotent, omniscient being, how dare we make assumptions about what the hell God intended, especially when we're all out here eating shrimp and bacon and wearing clothing of mixed fibers, ALL of which are listed as "abominations?"

Seems to me Jesus said the two top commandments are "Love the Lord thy God" AND "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

I just can't help but feel that it's pretty presumptuous to say there's only two choices: God made a mistake or transgender people did. It strikes me as entirely possible that God created transgender people just the way they are for his purposes. (That goes for gay, bi, non-binary, etc)

Peace said...

Anonymous you are so right. "God does not make mistakes" But people are presuming to know what was a mistake and what is done for reasons outside our ability to know. If God makes no mistakes please explain disease, children born with "defects", nearsightedness for goodness sake! Living with a person with a severe mental illness and working with children born different I can tell you without a doubt that God does not make mistakes. We are just not privy to all the reasons yet. Sometimes though we get a glimpse of the beauty inside the differentness and that is something I would hate to miss because I cannot look at someone different and accept.
Kathy C