This week and the past month I have thought a lot about the folks who are Transgendered, gender queer, or what ever. As an old person all these other titles for gay people I might at times find confusing but my desire has been to figure it out and acknowledge it. I have family and friends who are gay and that is what I have always thought of them.
Before I wrote this I wrote to my nephew and asked him how he thinks of himself in terms of sexuality. He told me he does not think he is trans but that he refers to himself as gender queer. After our discussion I double checked on dictionary.com to make sure I understood. That is a person who does not see themselves as specifically male or female. His brother is gay. That helped me a great deal and I was pleased that they were happy that I was willing to talk to them about their sexuality, not in anger but out of curiosity and concern.
But with Facebook things have changed for me. Not everyone is out there talking about their sexual identity I know but when I see my nephew on Facebook with make up and full drag outfits I begin to think I need to open up a bit more on this topic. I read negative statements about gay folks from other relatives and this is very painful to read, their fear, dislike, hatred of things they appear not to understand. I decided to do my research and to try and better understand what is going on and to examine both sides of this issue.
I believe it takes a lot of courage in this country to admit to family and friends that one is not a heterosexual person. The possibility of total rejection from those you love is always a possibility, even today. And then when states start passing laws to restrict what bathroom one uses well things get a bit more sticky. Things can become dangerous when you have straight folks walking around believing that having someone of the opposite sex in a bathroom is dangerous for children and women. In fact this week some idiot was stating things like that on some site and I could not hold back – research shows that most sexual abusers are not strangers in bathrooms. The majority of sexual abuse is committed by men or women known to the victims. I suggested there that they ban all known people to stay away from their children since the children are more at risk from those known people.
I really don’t get it that men are so afraid of other men who happen to be gay. I guess they might be feeling a psychological threat to themselves that they might be gay or something.
I want to share a story about bathrooms. Last month on a trip to Manhattan we went out for dinner. Before we left the restaurant I went to use the bathroom. Went in the ladies room not thinking about anything. They had really nice totally enclosed stalls. As I came out to wash my hands and as I was drying them the other stall door opened and out walks a man in a suit. I was startled I have to admit. This was a first for me. As I said I am old. As I walked out of the bathroom there on the wall was a sign not previously seen by me. “All our bathrooms are gender neutral” Oh, okay. I get it. At least that explained the guy in the suit.
Our school district is putting in gender neutral bathrooms in each school. It will be like a family bathroom at the rest areas on the Thruway. The students I met at a forum at one of our schools recently on LGBTQ kids were content with that arrangement. At this stage they just want to be comfortable when they go into a bathroom and these were the transgendered students talking. They are not comfortable if born with male parts being in either the men’s or women’s bathrooms the way they are set up.
Now back to my nephew who tends to dress better than I do. When he is out in high heels, wig, lots of makeup, etc., I think he belongs in the girl’s room. Going into a men’s room might be unsafe for him. He has great legs and looks better than a lot of women I know. Although I would tone down the make up a bit. Just my preference though. His brother is moving into a wonderful career and is just living his life and not making a thing of his sexuality. But still it takes so much courage to be your true self and I admire my nephews for being who they are. Both of them wonderful successful men who I hope have wonderful lives no matter what their sexual identify is.