**This is my way of calling all of you IN and not calling you OUT. Calling out is publicly shaming, embarrassing, or making a spectacle of someone when they say something not okay. Calling in is being a homie, bringing the person to the side afterwards when it is one on one and being like hey can you explain to me what you meant when you said ______, then listening to them, and then explaining why it isn't cool. Making it a learning experience. Making it so being "politically correct" (<- not a fan of that phrase because it's actual meaning has been changed by the societal meaning) is not an angry thing or a thing for crazy angry people with picket signs, but a nice thing.**
Let's take it back to around 2010. I was very similar to the people saying the titular statement and other not so nice things. Similar but not the same because not as extreme and I would never have posted about it on social media, but similar because I was also uneducated. So this is a message about those of you who were just like me--not as extreme as the haters and bashers online, but a pretty confused by the idea of being trans*.
You know what? I'm going to say something you probably haven't heard in response to some of your comments being confused or being weirded out by Caitlyn Jenner's transition------> It's okay to feel uncomfortable!
But remember that the words disgusted and appalled are different than the word uncomfortable. The words disgusted and appalled have a connotation of being static--a state of not being able to be changed. The word uncomfortable suggests a dynamic state--a state where things are going to change.
I'm not perfect. Honestly, there is not never a time where I am uncomfortable by some of the issues related. But I'll tell you something completely honest, EVERY single time I have been uncomfortable, I have learned that it was because I was not educated. I did not understand. I was not used to something.
I come from a region of the USA known as the Northern Kentucky bubble. It has it's pros and cons. It was a beautiful place to live with great schools and nice people. I have no regrets about my childhood and I do not look at Northern Kentucky with any hate at all, only love. It is called the bubble because (what feels like) all of the population is a copy paste of the same person. White, Christian/Catholic, conservative, middle to upper class, heterosexual, married parents, athletic children. You can imagine it. There isn't anything wrong with being a straight white person who is christian, conservative, middle to upper class with married parents at all! It just doesn't create a very diverse environment in which to grow up.
The numbers were so few that to this day, I could name you everyone in my school or town who is not white. I could name you the students at my school that came from liberal families. For the majority of my childhood and adolescence, I grew up not knowing anyone closely who seriously financially struggled, was gay/lesbian/bisexual, and definitely no one who identified as trans*. It wasn't because we ostracized them from the town. It wasn't because you had to get an inspection at the gates and if you weren't our mold, you're out. It's just they way it was.
I'm telling you all this so you understand where I came from and so you understand that I came from the same place as many of you.
For example, we only saw gay people on TV or movies. We saw the archetypal gay best friend character who talked in a high pitch voice, wore pink and did musical theater. That was the image of gay. Not the image of the completely normal kid in our math class who just happened to be attracted to men, but the stereotype displayed by the media.
This doesn't justify hateful comments about gay people, this doesn't justify using "gay" as a derogatory term to hate or judge a boy who does theater or talks a certain way, however, it does help me to understand how you feel these things.
Trans* is an even more foreign topic to most than sexual orientation. I've seen some really really sad and angry things about Caitlyn Jenner on social media. I get it, well I don't, but I am able to empathize with the fact that you are confused. It is a foreign idea to you and it is weird and makes you uncomfortable. Maybe someone sometime told you that it is morally "wrong", maybe you saw a movie one time with a trans* person and they were weird and scary. But guess what? This is a beautiful thing! It is a learning opportunity!
If you do not get it, ask someone. If it doesn't make sense to you how someone could "just flop genders" or "destroy their family", ask someone. Here's the thing, I do not know anyone who wouldn't be willing to help you. But that is ONLY if you phrase it in a kind, genuinely curious way.
"You can't just wake up one day and decide to become the other gender just because you are bored."
"hey. So I've been reading about Caitlyn Jenner and I'm just having a hard time with it. I do not know much of anything about being trans* and I just really do not understand. Could you help me? If not do you know anyone who can or maybe a really good website or video or something?"
"You can't just decide your gender. God makes you man or woman. Science makes you man or woman biologically. You can't just deny that and choose on the fly!"
"Hey. I'm confused about how biology and like what sex you have at birth comes into play with trans*. Can you help me understand? Do you know of any good resources?"
See how that works? It's okay for you to be confused, it is okay to not understand. It really is. I am sometimes. I love asking people and I love researching. Personally, and maybe like many of you, I've never been against any of it, but sometime I just don't understand.
As far as posting on social media: *sigh*. Freedom of speech, say your beliefs, but when it is so hurtful to someone else and obviously out of ignorance, there is a problem. Before you post something, make sure you're fully educated on what you're about to post, because it is 2015 and people are going to CALL.YOU.OUT and you better know what you're talking about because, if not, you're about to be slain--given 25 to life in slay court.
Slain like I'm about to slay everything with this statement:
~~Bashing someone for being who they truly are reflects more on you than on them.~~
This isn't about religion or what is or isn't "right", this is about loving your fellow human. "I love the sinner but hate the sin" need not apply because that is being too intersectional, the person cannot be separated from his or her or their identity. You aren't loving the person if you hate who they are.
That's all I wanted to say today. I didn't want to post an angry rant about how everyone is ignorant and ugly and stupid and wrong. I wanted to call you in and say you aren't a bad person, but you can be a little better--we all can.
Love you, don't be ugly, love each other, educate yourself, educate other, call each other in.
P.S. I wanted to help you out a little bit more. Here are some really great resources about LGBTQ topics that aren't angry, accusatory, or biased, but just educational.
-A quick glossary of terms that you should know:
-Some answers to preliminary questions you may have about being trans*:
-Answers common questions about how trans* relates to crossdressing, drag, and homosexuality:
-A youtube with personal stories:
I'd be happy to help you if you need more resources or just want to talk. <3