For a moment let's entertain the thought of a fully functional society. One in which people from the LGBTQIA community could live without prejudice, hatred, and fear. Where the threat of violence and bodily harm never entered their mind. They would be able to walk into any house of worship without discrimination, and into a doctor's office knowing that they would not be judged. A world where I can walk down the street holding my wife's hand without having to doge dirty looks from strangers. If I close my eyes, I can almost picture how beautiful that would be. The only time I can get a small glimpse of what that peace might be like is when I am in queer spaces. When I feel the total acceptance and love from the people around me.
We often joke with friends that we should buy a huge piece of property in the middle of nowhere and build a self-sustaining queer compound. Leaving the transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic world behind. A little place without hate and discrimination, only affirming love and respect. Doesn't that sound like a magical place? A phobia in the dictionary is worded like this: an extreme or irrational fear of, or aversion to something. I have to be honest with you, that kind of makes my skin crawl a bit. To ponder the thought that people have a fear of other people just because they belong to the LGBTQIA community is preposterous.
"I THINK THAT ALL TOO OFTEN THE PARTNERS OF PEOPLE WHO COME OUT AS TRANSGENDER JUST DON'T STAY IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE OF THE FEAR THAT THEY HAVE OF BEING JUDGED BY OTHERS."
I think that all too often the partners of people who come out as transgender just don't stay in their relationship because of the fear that they have of being judged by others. Time and time again I hear partners saying things like, I will lose all of my friends," "what will they think of me?" "My family will disown me." As human beings we are all flawed. Perfection does not exist, so to be afraid of not being accepted by another human being to me is absurd. It is almost as if some people can only survive with the acceptance of their family and peers. That being in this community somehow renders you inadequate. I say who gives a shit what other people think. If I had to live my life the way what other people thought I should, I would go insane.
You can hear the fear through their words when I hear partners say things like, "well I let my partner dress as themselves but only in the house on weekends." "Yes of course they could start hormones but after our youngest child turns ten." "You have to dress as your dead name when we go to family functions, grandma just wouldn't understand." I swear, as I live and breathe, that is your fear talking. The only way to stop fear is to see it through in your head. So at the end of those thoughts what happens? Do you or your partner meet an early demise? Will either one of you be diagnosed with a terminal illness? Will the bank suddenly foreclose the mortgage on your house? Let me tell you, I am out and proud of my transgender wife and so far none of those things have happened to us.
"SOMETIMES PEOPLE WHO THINK IT'S OK TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OTHERS NEED TO MEET DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE."
I grew up in a very Italian American town in the 70's as the second of five children. I knew the names of every neighbor up and down both sides of the street. When our house got too small for the seven of us, my parents decided it was time to move out to a more rural area. They bought a big house with a pool and a giant yard. We were outside waiting for the movers when the new neighbors came over to introduce themselves. My youngest sister suddenly screamed like she was being tortured. I looked up from what I was doing to see a man and his wife. The man was African American. In the small little bubble that we lived in, she had never seen a person of color before and she was four years old. Sometimes people who think it's ok to discriminate against others need to meet different kinds of people. By us being proud of who we are and who we are married to we are teaching them that people in the LGBTQIA community are just like everyone else. We are showing them that there is no real reason for them to fear us, and that we just want to be treated like everyone else. We live in a beautifully diverse world full of people representing every color of the rainbow. When will we learn to appreciate each other for that?
So if the world were a more accepting place, would you be more inclined to stay with your partner after they came out as transgender? What if sharing that news was met with the same joyous reaction as when you tell your family and friends that you are having a baby, or buying a house, or getting your dream job? Would it then be ok to be married to a transgender person? That type of acceptance from society will never happen unless we fight for it. Unless we are proud to say we are in a relationship with a transgender person and that they are just like everyone else. No one should have to live in fear and shame.