You Aren’t Like Me! So What?

#truelife; #LGBTQ&M
Photo Source: torbakhopper via Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

So, I walked into the bathroom and there was a group of ladies.  Only these ladies weren’t ladies they were men.  Or so I once thought.

For a long time, my own biases got in the way.  “Why have they added the ‘T’ to my GLB?” I would question.  I have never questioned my own gender, so how can “they” associate a gender identity issue with being gay, lesbian or bi?

How dare they?

How could they?

Who the hell am I?

Over the past several months, I have watched the group of male-to-female (M2F) community grow in my circle. Candidly, even as a progressive, primarily gayish girl, I could never relate to transgender people. I would ‘slip up’ and call the hers a him and the hims a her.

But, as I opened my mind and opened my eyes, I realized that I was being a total jerk. And the hers, the hims, the theys – were all around me. People whose gender did not fit neatly into the classic mold of male or female are everywhere. The truth is, it was my limited view that was creating the issue, not what category the trans and other-gendered community fell into.

When I think about a particular group of women friends that were born biologically male, their struggles in life are so palpable.  These women wear it in their eyes.  Their entire lives they fit the mold that they felt they should, particularly as southern men. One was a former construction worker, one a mechanic, another a well-suited salesman; now, all of these formerly “manly men” all identify as women – albeit, very handy women. They used to hang out with the boys, drive trucks, get greasy, pick up southern girls in school. Yet, when you tell these ladies how gorgeous they look it is as if their souls light up.

On the day of my baptism, a woman friend of mine who was born male, was also baptized. The joy in her eyes as she received her faith gave me a new understanding.  She was reborn that day.  As was I.

As I sat a women’s networking group in my early 40’s, I reflected on all the judgment that I had brought over the years.  Maybe I was not the cool, accepting person that I always thought I was.  But, I have grown.

The world looks different now. Where are you clenched up? Where are you casting your own judgments? We all always have room to grow.