I don’t get it.
And maybe that’s unpopular to say. I think a lot of people feel the same way but are sort of afraid to admit it.
Thing is, there’s a lot I don’t understand, but I also know that’s me. I don’t know what it feels like to be identified as one gender but feel as if that is wrong. What I do know is at conception we have a set of chromosomes that define what we are supposed to be, but that doesn’t always correspond to what comes out. Let’s look at men’s nipples. What are they for? And then why do some people develop breasts yet still have a penis? Weird.
Some people are born one way, but they feel differently. Born, strictly for example, as a boy, anatomically, but for whatever reason, they feel as if they should have been born a girl. That must be really confusing for the child because internally they feel as if they are a girl, but their parents from birth have been raising that child as a boy.
I can only imagine what a parent might feel. You spend a number of years raising a child only to be told you were wrong. I can see how it might be taken that way.
We as a society treat boys and girls differently. Expectations, clothes, hair, even the most “aware” of us, we who make every attempt to treat our differently sexed children equally, we still treat our boys and girls different. Because they are different.
And different can be scary.
What if one of my kids came up and said they felt transgender? What would I do? I’d get pronouns wrong, I can tell you that much. I struggle yelling out the correct name when somebody is in trouble. “Xavier… er, Ciaran, er, YOU! KNOCK IT OFF!”
What I would not do is love my child any less or any differently.
Why, if we are made in God’s image, are some people born one gender but identify as another? Some would dismiss this as confusion, or rebellion, or even a mental illness.
That feeling, that notion, that sense one has of identity, it has to be pretty strong to cross the gender line. Born anatomically one way but to identify as another, that takes a heck of a self-reckoning.
Being born one way but knowing, knowing, that you should be something else.
It is something I just don’t get.
You know what I do get? Homosexuality. That’s something I can wrap my head around and understand. You don’t choose who you love. And I say this as a man who has been attracted to women his whole life. Being gay I can understand. Some people are wired in a way that makes them like a certain thing.
Alright, here is where the audience is going to turn on me.
Sometimes I think what makes understanding transgender difficult for me is that it is too vague of a term. What does it mean? Is it a male who identifies as female? A female who identifies as male? A gay male who identifies as female but still likes guys? A gay female who identifies as male and now likes guys?
Yes, lumping sexual orientation into transgender is not doing anybody any favors, and I know I am not helping matters any. Transgender is far too loose of a term. Who can come up with a specific term for a straight male transitioning into a gay female as opposed to a straight male transitioning to a straight female? How do we know who is what when we are told somebody is “trans”?
But hear me out.
This confusion only fuels the fear that people have.
What is it people are afraid of?
I am not referring to the disgust some people have for transgender people (I’m looking at you evangelical supposed Christians – but you stopped reading this a long time ago). Instead I am referring to those who profess to not care about however people want to live their life but would vote against allowing transgender people to use the public restroom of their choosing.
And I don’t get it.
What is it that you are afraid of? A man at birth, who identifies as a woman, and is living now as a woman, just wants to pee. So why can’t she go into the women’s restroom? Are we afraid some sexual assault will happen?
Growing up I have forcibly been made to see the inside of a few toilets in the restrooms at schools. And let me tell you, every time I was beaten up or assaulted it was by another boy. In the boy’s restroom.
Somebody told me in an argument against allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their choice (and I am paraphrasing somewhat here) that if a guy needs to pee and there is a long line he can say “I feel like a woman” and go into the women’s restroom. And he genuinely thought that would happen.
Maybe if it did happen that person should be prosecuted.
What is it that makes people so uncomfortable about having a transgender person use the same public restroom?
If you live in a city, you have already shared a public restroom with a transgender person. I guarantee it. And I am betting nothing happened.
So why not let somebody who identifies as a man use the men’s restroom and a person who identifies as a woman use the women’s restroom?
Is it the fear of some sexual assault?
Maybe if we actually prosecuted sexual assaults in this country that might not happen.
Regardless of which gender you are or identify as.