As a member of the gay community, it’s amazing just what kind of random questions I’ve received over the years. Well, it’s not that amazing. I’ve always lived in very rural communities with very closeted (as in, nonexistent) gay communities, so I somehow have become a spokesperson for our minority.
Meh. I’d prefer they ask questions than ignored their curiosity or went straight to condemnation. I consider this progress.
Having said this, I find it interesting which questions crop up more often than not. I get it when guys ask, “Just what is it you lesbians do?” The answer: whatever we want. We aren’t limited by anything but our wants and needs. And women have a lot of imagination. Although it reduces lesbianism to nothing more than questions about sex, this is an obvious question to ask me, so I can deal. You also get a lot of follow-up questions about penetration and sex toys, but I won’t divulge too far into such topics at this time.
More than anything else, though, people are extremely curious about the transgendered community, and this I struggle with. While they’re a part of the gay community, it’s not like I’ve met dozens and dozens of transgendered individuals. I’ve met several, and everyone is different. Just like everyone else. The transgendered community only make up 0.6% of the American population, but they seem to puzzle conservatives more than any other group. It’s weird, how fascinated my neighbors are about this topic. Not as weird as how obsessed Republicans are with transgendered people’s bathroom habits, but what is?
So, here’s what I know about members of the transgendered community, and I admit it isn’t a lot. While I’m a lesbian, I’ve always loved being a woman, and I don’t see this changing. As a result, I haven’t read up as much about gender identity as I have about sexual orientation, which are two very different things.
But here goes. Less than one in one hundred people are born in a body that feels biologically different than their emotional gender. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. This, I get. If I had been born male, I can’t imagine not fighting and doing whatever it took to become female. A woman is what I am, and losing the genetic lottery wouldn’t change that. We are very fortunate to live in a time where hormone therapy, counseling, and surgery can help people achieve their real gender. And, let me tell you, if someone undergoes all the social stigma of hormone therapy, the degradation of therapeutic questioning of their gender identities, and the very real physical pain and financial strain of surgery, then they have earned the right to be whichever gender they wish.
And after all this work, transgendered individuals might not turn out to be straight. Like I said, gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same thing. You could easily be a transgendered woman who is attracted to other women. You could just as easily be a transgendered male who is attracted to women. The point of all these trials and tribulations comes down to this at the end of the day: you are who are, and you like who you like. While most of the population seems to like the opposite gender and refuse to question their own gender identity, this isn’t true for all of us.
We hurt no one (unless that’s what we’re into), so why do so many politicians care? The collective gay community only makes up 4% of the population. Anything we do in our personal lives will make very little impact on the rest of our country. However, any decisions that politicians and other policymakers pass over the gay community only impact us. That’s why we fight. That’s why we work so hard to be pillars of our community. In my case, I’m a gay community of one in my town in central Washington. I’m fully aware that if I screw up, everyone around me will lump all gay people into the same category as me.
But no pressure.