Gay-ism

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I read an article on yahoo today that really tore me to pieces. The story was about a young transgendered boy in Jamaica named Dwayne Jones who after dressing as a girl to a high school party, was beaten to death. The article further explained how Dwayne’s friend and roommate (who attended the party with him) was assaulted and almost raped just for associating with Dwayne.

The most heartbreaking bit?

“Dwayne’s father in the Montego Bay slum of North Gully didn’t want to talk about his son’s life or death. The teen’s family wouldn’t even claim the body, according to Dwayne’s friends.”

I just want to take a minute to reflect and express how deep my gratitude is for the life I’ve been given. Oftentimes I think we forget how fortunate the LGBT community in America is compared to other countries. That’s not to say LGBT in America are by any means treated perfectly, as we still have a lot of work to do regarding marriage equality and anti-bullying laws, but reading this story reminded me just how blessed I am to have been born into a family that chose to love me regardless of my sexuality or gender. More importantly, I was born into a time of progressive acceptance for LGBT citizens, where there are support groups, advocates, and allies around every corner of this country. 

But what I really want to think about is the importance of the T in LGBT. I think oftentimes the gay community excludes or ignores transgendered youth.  I think the thing that’s really struck me about this story is Dwayne’s courage. He chose to be himself in front of a crowd of his peers and that is something to admire. I am not transgendered and I can’t imagine how suffocatingly difficult it would be to express oneself in a body that didn’t match my spirit, but I know what it’s like to not fit in with gender norms, and it has been very difficult for me to be myself 100% of the time because of that. My deepest sympathies go towards ANYONE who understands and intimately feels that their biologically “assigned” gender does not represent what’s within. Human society has structured such a powerful dichotomy between what is “masculine” and “feminine” that it becomes otherwise “queer” when someone can’t categorize themselves as one or the other, and I think that’s a horrible shame. 

I truly resent these dichotomies. I’ve never felt like a “man” but I sure as hell don’t want to be a “woman”. I am my own person. I am my own spirit and my own being. I don’t want to be either “man” or “woman”. I’m myself. I’m comfortable in my skin (though it wouldn’t hurt to shed a few pounds). This body is my own and no one else’s, and how I perceive myself is not up for debate by anyone else. I really wish more people in the world could understand that sentiment and that fewer gay men would chose to stay misinformed on gender. I cringe every time I hear “I hate feminine gays” or “I’m only attracted to masculine guys”. It’s important, I think, to rule out those stereotypes and to keep our minds open to the possibility that anatomy and sexuality don’t always reflect our gender. Gay men should be especially open to this as owning a penis technically leaves us responsible for procreating with a uterus. Gay men misuse our provided anatomy constantly, thus we know our anatomy does not define what we are attracted to. Our anatomy does not define who we are on the inside and what we are put on this earth to do. Just think about that.  

This post had no end point or conclusion, I just think it’s important to discuss the diversity of ideas, people, and possibilities there are in the LGBT community. Some people are blessed with strong families and others are blessed with nothing but the courage to be themselves.

Dwayne Jones, wherever you are, I want to thank you for reminding me how blessed I am for my family, for my friends, for this body I grew up in, and for the many beautiful opportunities I’ve had in my life so far to be who I want to be. You may not have been loved by many, being born into a world of hatred, but I love you and you inspire me. I’d rather die being who I am, than to live trying to be something I’m not. May your soul rest in peace, friend. 

The article referred to earlier can be found here:

http://news.yahoo.com/jamaica-transgender-teen-murdered-mob-070446416.html

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3 thoughts on “Gay-ism

  1. Might it please be explained to me how it is that there is confusion of ‘born into the wrong body’ when most transgendered are simply heterosexual transvestites, gay cross-dressers, drag queens, etc. who would NEVER entertain the idea of a sex, not a gender, change. A person in need to change sex is a transsexual who from my readings already has a gender in conflict with their biological sex, not an added construct dealing with transgenderism.

    • Dear Lynn,
      Thank you for writing! To be honest, I’m having some trouble following what you’re saying. The distinctions between gender/sex and transgender/transexual are often so fine that it’s easy for me to make a claim or opinion that comes off as ignorant or straight up wrong–I am sorry if my sentiments were overridden by misinformation on my part. I’m still trying to learn exactly what defines each, so I appreciate you trying to inform me of a specificity I seemed to have overlooked.
      Your tone read a little hostile to me, so I’m worried that maybe something I said came off as disrespectful, but I assure you most of what I wrote about was speaking from experiences with my own gender and sexuality. I wasn’t trying to make any generalizations, and I actually never used the words “born into the wrong body” in my post. I implied that often I’ve felt that my identity doesn’t match typical male behavior, and that I can’t imagine how it must feel to experience that non-belonging to a deeper extreme.
      Let’s not forget, we’re all on the same side here. I’m fighting to better understand the world we live in, and trying to make it a lovelier place by keeping an open heart and mind to those who I don’t immediately identify with. I hope you’re well and you’re enjoying the holiday season 🙂 If you celebrate Christmas, then Merry Christmas to you!
      Best
      xoxo

      • Ok, let me spell it out again: Sex is genitalia – gender is brain. One cannot have gender surgery so the term ‘gender reassignment’ is a false substitute for ‘sex reassignment’.
        Let me first clarify the distinction between a trans something or other, – transgender seems to be the misapplied term here. A person preparing for reassignment surgery is a transsexual…their gender is already determined and not, as with many transgender, flexible.
        Years ago a person applying for surgery was diagnosed as a transsexual…Period. Those who mimicked the opposite sex were transvestites and/or gay cross-dressers. They often were called ‘trannies’. It was simple back then.
        Many transvestites decided that to move away from the sexual connotation and the embarrassment of being identified as gender confused they would include transsexuals in their social construct of transgender in the hope of making claim of medical validity. Does not work for me, how about you?
        To dress up and live as the opposite sex is not transsexual but transgender for they are not in any way trans’ing their sex but instead retaining their sex all the while catering to their gender confusion.
        I hear often that some do not have surgery due to health reasons. They even make claim of prohibitive costs. I have come across one transsexual who had AID’s yet had the surgery; another a heart condition; another with cluster headaches and asthma. Add to these many others with medical anomalies who had surgery. Rarely does any medical condition thwart surgery by a competent and informed surgeon. It is often more dangerous to take opposite sex hormones for many years than to have the surgery itself.
        The cost of surgery for a M-F is about the cost of a low priced new car; the F-M a bit higher. Costs claims can be exaggerated by cosmetic surgery wishes which often can be abated for a time until after completion of the primary goal, SRS. I know two who had SRS and returned to their jobs and saved up for later cosmetic surgery. But they were actually transsexuals who could no longer live with their birth sex. Further mimicry was abhorrent to them. And they did not ever think they were mutilating their bodies as is the claim of many of the gay crowd. To call it mutilation is cruel and totally untrue. It is for a true transsexual analogous to the removal of a cancerous element.
        I also might make mention that once a person has SRS they are their acquired sex…they are no longer trans’ing anything…………they are there as a nurse friend made clear to me.To be a lifelong transitioner is simply a transgender.
        A confusion has occurred because of the add-on of transgender to the GLB fold. Most transgender are actually heterosexual transvestites classed as having a fetish with no sexual attraction for same sex partners. Theirs is a mental condition, gender dysphoria. Some may also be classed as autogynephiles, a description advanced by a doctor (Ann Lawrence) who had SRS and accepted the term for herself.
        I am not a trans anything myself but I worked in a field where I came upon many people with gender problems. And no, I am not gay either. In fact married with two children. I do tend to read a lot though.
        Merry Christmas
        Lynn

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