The latest hot topic regarding transgenders and bathrooms has created a lot of political and media fodder. It is NOT my intention to discuss this topic nor debate it, but the fact remains – because of this new focus by many, new questions have been raised with me and Deana. These have NOT been mean natured, judgmental, or within the “bathroom” realm of questioning. Instead, people who have never really considered the “T” in LGBT have begun to seek to understand. This is always a good thing and we welcome and applaud the idea. However, it also opens up the need to clarify a few things – and that is the basis of this post.
First, let me get the harder part out of the way, and this is not so much because people have asked us this, but because it seems to be a prevalent correlation when the topic of LGBT comes up in general; just because someone is LGBT, does NOT mean they are a pedophile. While I am sure there HAVE been occasions where a pedophile is gay, I believe statistically there are more straight pedophiles abusing children, based on the fact there are more heterosexuals in our population. So pedophilia is NOT a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered issue – it is a societal issue. (See this medical research for info on that, so you know I am not just spouting my views).
Now, for more interesting questions. We have been pleased that many of our friends have been researching transgender information and trying to understand people who identify as transgender. I will be the first to tell you, I have walked down the same path of inquisition. We have a few very close friends who are transgender, some we only knew as the gender they identify with, and some as they transferred to their identified gender. In both cases, I can’t tell you honestly that I wasn’t just as confused as you may be. I mean, just because I am a lesbian doesn’t mean I totally understand what these children of God are going through. And that is the first question I’d like to address in detail – Deana and I are NOT Transgender; we both identify as women and we both feel attraction towards women. Of the two of us, I am definitely more androgynous and am more drawn to things that society has deemed more “male” in nature. I like baseball caps, sports, cargo shorts, etc. Sometimes, the clothes I wear were made for men, but not because I want to be a MAN, but because the style fits me better. However, the majority of my clothes were made for women. When my kids were younger and Mother’s Day was approaching, I’d get so irritated that the mothers were given a “tea” at school while the dads got to play in a tennis match. I am not much of a “tea” person EXCEPT when I am in England and then look out, I am totally down for finger sandwiches, crumpets, and the like. I really don’t like to shop nor do I prefer to wear frilly clothes that flow and swish. But really, there are MANY women, even straight women, who are similar to me. Deana, well she fits the more feminine mold for sure, likes to wear platform shoes and long necklaces, but can play basketball with the best of them and can intimidate others with her hispanic attitude…..and that’s okay too. But neither of us wants to be male. I enjoy many things that society has labeled as “female”, and pretty much I have always felt female. Neither of us have any desire to change that. That’s NOT to say we’ve not had those theoretical conversations where we’d say “it would have been SO MUCH easier if one of us was a man”. But that’s a different topic.
So, that leads to the “B” in LGBT, signifying bisexual. While it is not my intent to get too graphic on this site, nor do I want to expose details that should remain private, I often get asked if I am bisexual given I was married for 16 years to a man. I feel it would be unfair to ignore this question. I loved my husband and never felt an aversion to being a wife to him. My goal, when we were married, was to be straight and to be healed of my attraction to women – it was never my intention to allow my attraction to women to develop further than the secret pull that was within me. Other posts have shared some of the struggle I went through during this period of my life, so I won’t go too deep here. But, I want to be clear – my heterosexual marriage was not torture for me. HOWEVER, I was conforming to what I felt society, my church, my family, my everything was demanding I be – a heterosexual woman. After spending my entire post-puberty life (and 16 years with my husband), I knew I was lying. That began my present journey that ultimately lead to meeting and marrying Deana, whom I’ve been with for 13 years. So, despite my marriage to my ex-husband, I do not identify as bisexual. I identify as a lesbian; I am attracted to women and feel completely fulfilled within my marriage with Deana.
Now to “G”, signifying gay. In general terms, gay is associated with homosexual males, whereas “L” is associated with homosexual females (or lesbians). You will see I sometimes use “gay” to describe myself. I have shared the technical definitions, though in my own life, lesbian and gay are used interchangeably.
Now to “T”, transgender. This is someone who identifies with a gender that does not correspond to their biological gender. And, let me start by saying……..that’s hard for me to understand. As someone who has always felt and liked being a female, it is hard for me to truly absorb feeling differently. (Wait…..disclaimer…..I resented that I could not go topless on a hot day when I was about 8. My brothers were allowed to “because they were boys” and that did tick me off. Ha.) It seems “weird” for me to consider feeling like a man when I was born a woman. But, in a small way, I can see aspects of it in my life. I mean, when I was little I resonated more with my male friends, wanting to play with hot wheels and throw a football. I NEVER wanted to play dress up, put on makeup, etc. And I knew, without anyone telling me anything, that I was “weird” and shouldn’t probably act that way. How much more would the pressure be if my very MIND told me day in and day out that my body was totally wrong? What if, as I began going through puberty, the breasts that began to develop was a significant affront to the fact I felt like a man? (Which, side note, had I been born transgender this would not have been an issue since I was Olive Oil until after I had Kirstie! 🙂 ) In any regard, I don’t understand why people are transgender, really I don’t. I have just as many questions as you probably do. But I do know this – those I know and love are honorable people. They struggle and pray and cry out to God, and they are humans and have feelings. Not one of the transgender people I know have changed their mind, thinking “Oh shoot, I am really female (or male) after all!”. Every one of them truly wishes they were born with the correct biological bodies so they didn’t have to struggle to align what they feel inside with what shows outside. And every one of them feel whole now that they have started or completed their transition. And, every single one of them are Christian. That’s not to say ALL are Christian in the transgender community, but neither are those in the heterosexual community. And I feel compelled to share – for those of you who are Christian, Christ calls you to love EVERYONE, even your enemies……even transgender people. And many times, you may not even realize the person you are interacting with IS transgendered! And that is the truth.
So, all that to say, Deana and I are not experts on transgenders. We probably have more acceptance for them than many do. We still shop at Target, and again……I don’t really like to shop so I guess I am stepping outside of my comfort zone to “take a stand” for those who were thrown into the limelight and I am not even sure WHY they are there. I encourage you ALL to “seek to understand”, as Mr. Covey tried to teach us with his “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”. Sometimes, seeking is the most important part of this thing called life.