Sometimes the line between bigotry and acceptance can be very thin, almost indistinguishable. I have a co-worker who skirts that line quite often over the whole Transgender subject. He has no idea that I’m transgender yet but I’d tend to believe it wouldn’t be too much longer before he does.
For the sake of making it easy I’ll simply refer to him as "J"
The company I work for is a semi conductor OEM manufacturer that is a relatively progressive company. That is to say I cannot be fired here for coming out and I have already done that with the head of Human Resources here.
Locally we have 4 major divisions that are all within a 20-minute drive of each other. In one of those divisions is an older TG girl that is an engineer. She is a MTF that transitioned here early in my tenure with the company. My friend "J" happens to work in the same division as she does and one of our friends is actually her engineering technician.
"J" constantly comes into our shop to get work done, hang out, to personal jobs or whatnot. We have a long history as co-workers together. While it never seems to be solicited or the subject is rarely ever broached "J" always seems to have a habit of turning it onto "TG" matters and mainly as Chris as his target. I’m not sure why he is so obsessive with this but it seems to come up quite often.
Not long ago he made a veiled comment about being careful about drinking the company water because you might "catch" things. (Whatever)
Apparently in a recent conversation with Chris she had mentioned to him she was interested in buying a Harley 883 sportster and "J" shot back with the statement "You don’t want that, it’s a girls bike" Chris just looked at him like he was nuts with the I AM a girl look.
When it comes to matters such as this without knowing about me he really can portray a very bigoted hateful attitude. I think it is sad that he does this not knowing exactly WHO he might be stating these things too. I’ve consistently heard him refer to Chris as "it", "he", "that "thing" and I tend to either try and diffuse his direction or simply ask him what the big deal is. To date we haven’t had a confrontation over it but I certainly see it happening.
To see how the social landscape is changing a column about a sportswriter for the LA Times came out yesterday. The article can be seen here
I have to commend Christine for not only doing what she needs to do to live a happy life but doing it in a positive unapologetic manner. Her coming out letter was well written and to the point. I applaud her for taking such a personally private matter and sharing it as she has done. Education is the key for diversity to exist.
In parallel with the article the times made a discussion board available that can be seen here.
I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that 90% of the comments are positive. There are a few that talk about Christianity but they do not judge and a small percentage that are simply hateful. The common theme in these posts usually reference statements something like. "You need to get therapy because this decision is unnatural" Or "you really need to see a psychiatrist if you believe this is the right choice"
Funny how ignorant those statements really are. The fact is it takes hundreds of hours of therapy to not only gain the confidence to face your fears but to get things such as hormone treatments, breast surgery or genital reconstruction. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide to schedule surgery.
It takes approximately 3 months of therapy alone before a therapist can even suggest hormone treatments. It takes 1 year of living in the proper gender to get a referral for surgery and then that need to be agreed upon by a psychologist as well as a psychiatrist.
Sounds to me like Christine has probably established a good support of doctors and therapists to move forward. While I am sure there are people who take shortcuts, most of us do this in a very controlled and measured way. If you are not then you are doing yourself a disservice as these changes can affect your core being. Hormone has multiple side effect and blood needs to be monitored
I just wish people would learn to educate themselves before opening their mouths and making ignorant statements. .
From Largo Florida to LA California this subject seems to be breaking ground. All my children just wrapped up a 3-4 month story line about a transgender character.. Talk shows (Other than Springer) are having more informative shows about this. Diversity is coming and being accepted, it is just time for hatred to go away.
Tonight Barbara Walters will be doing a 1 hour show on 20/20 about this very issue. If you want to learn more please watch it.
Hope all is well and you enjoy your weekend, I know I will