Jan 22, 2008

Activisim begins at home

With my local paper running a series on Transgender people and everything ounce of news regarding the same has inundated us lately it set me to thinking. While Activism in its present form isn't a bad thing what can we truly do to dictate permanent change. This isn't to say that
we shouldn't be proud of who we are or what we stand for in the moment.

This past weekend my wife and I were lucky enough to have our granddaughter overnight for the first time. To say we were "tickled pink" by the idea would have been an understatement, we both adore Gianna and are addicted to spending time with her as she grows. She as a
child already has such an infectious smile.

In having our granddaughter and laying the groundwork for our weekend my wife decided it might be cool to have her professional pictures done and so, we made an appointment for Sat. We are very happy with how they turned out and in the process of getting ourselves a nice 8 X 10 for our living room, we decided to get an additional sheet of two 5x7's (One for my inlaws and one for Jess). Saturday evening Jess was working at her job so the idea was to get a nice frame, wrap it up and deliver it to her at work as a surprise hoping this would make her night.

When we arrived at her job I got out of the car and headed to the front door (She works in a yet to be opened major home improvement retailer). Just inside the door were 3 men having a discussion and noticed me coming towards the door and immediately one started waving me off to let me know they weren't open yet. As the automatic doors opened and as we were able to speak directly I explained to him that I had been looking for my daughter Jess. He nodded and told me her would call her down to the front and I told him I'd be outside the door in the car.

As Jess approached she spoke to Dee first telling her that the men thought they scared her out of the building and naturally Dee had no idea what she was talking about. When the truth came to light the assumption was made that I was Jess's mom by the individual that had come and spoken to me, needless to say we all had a good laugh over it. When I asked Jess later if she told them that I wasn't her mom she admitted she had and told then it was her dad. She said they were all shocked and couldn't believe it believing me to be female. Jess explained to them that her Dad was Transgender and transitioning.

So how does all of this relate to the subject of this blog?

When Jess was a child she was aware of my difference. While she hadn't been aware of the depth of it or the so-called birth defect, she was aware of my gender variance. She was raised in an open way that she should be respectful and open to all people of difference. We as a society and as a human race are subject to difference by design, it keep our culture rich and interesting. To teach a child to not have tolerance to any individual or anything termed different would not only be irresponsible, it would be wrong.

Any lesson we teach our children is a value that we hope will stick into their adult life and then we simply hope all of those lessons add up to good or at best decent acceptable parenting. All of this will hopefully result in an adult that as a parent we can be proud to set free into

As Jess has grown her understanding of diversity and tolerance has not only stuck with her but created deep roots as seen in her interaction with her co-workers. Regardless of whether her dad is transgender, black, disabled or whatever the fact, she is proud of her family. In being proud of where she came from she had no problem saying, "Hey my dad's transgender and she is transitioning to female as though it was a natural part of her day. I only hope that her positive attitude about me results in people being positive to her for feeling comfortable with it.

In her comfort with not only who she is, but also who I am, we can then assume that those lessons will rub off on my granddaughter as she grows and becomes an adult. Effectively what this does generation to generation is make subjects such as these a non-issue.

Any way you slice it that has to be one of the best forms of activism on the planet,
creating future change.

Think about it

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