Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Confessions of A Liberal

I'm a lazy liberal. My beliefs and attitudes are just what I grew up with. There was never a question about who we were voting for each election, it was always not Republican. I remember walking home from school in first grade debating with my friend Steve about Reagan. I liked Mondale because he had Geraldine Ferraro as a running mate. This weekend highlighted an area where I my liberalness is lacking.

My parents had gay friends when I was growing up and I have many friends who came out after college. So gay rights is a no-brainer for me. Gay is not a foreign scary concept for me. People fall on a Kinsey scale and it isn't my business how they want to define themselves. That takes care of the LBQ community but....

What is foreign/confusing for me is transgender. Just figuring out HOW to talk about that community feels like hopping from sharp stalagmite to stalagmite over a pit of lava. I discovered this gap in my liberal cred thanks to the combination of the new season of Orange is the New Black and the latest episode of Oprhan Black. Orange has the character Sophia played by Laverne Cox. Orphan introduced a character named Tony who was born Antoinette. From some online discussion forums I have learned that "transgendered" or "transexual" are incorrect terms. And posters who even tried to float "shim" or "tranny" were shut down quickly. I also learned that some people aren't transgender but just choose not to gender self-identify. Which was news to me because I had just assumed the women with beards were just in the middle of their transition to some destination gender.

Basically, I have never met a transgender person so I guess this is how a liberal in Montana would feel about gay rights. You understand the mechanics, the psychological aspect, and believe people should just be allowed to be happy but there is a HUGE gap in real world experience. Sub confession, I also get men to women trans a lot more than the opposite way. Maybe it's because men to women transgender is so much more prominent in entertainment? Or I'm just such a feminist, I can't fathom giving womanhood up?

I got into a discussion with a fellow confused person where we talked about if a trans person should reveal their status on a first date. Me being a dummy idealist who thinks love is love believed that could be revealed later. But my friend pointed out the fact that revealing that information could get the person murdered. So what do transgender people do? Is there any hope?

So, here I am a liberal with gaps in my real world experience who just supports a concept, not a person and that bums me out.

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