I hear words like "lucky" used when people describe my life and all the amazing things that are starting to happen for me. I reject that notion.
Having hid for so many decades, from both myself and all those in my life, at first the idea of being seen - yes really being seen by everyone seemed to take over. When I transitioned in 2011, my day job in the tech world was on a campus of over a thousand people, and my role did not allow me to be invisible.
I asked Finneus and other transitioning people to talk about their life and how they feel about some of the issues that Caitlyn might be experiencing and what it is like to be transgender in our country today.
Caitlyn's need to be referred to as 'she' or 'her,' is upsetting to some, and her new found freedom and her ability to live in that freedom will not be recognized. It seems to me, that her identity is much more of an issue for some than it is for her.
My daughter is wary because she expects you to say hurtful things. She needs your supportive voice to be louder than the competing voices of judgment and hate. So, please, speak up.
What if, instead of conversation about Caitlyn Jenner in your company's breakroom, there she sat, drinking her coffee and munching on a bagel? What then? How would your company handle it? Would people praise her bravery, or, at the very least, adopt a live-and-let-live attitude? Would they welcome her, ostracize her or vote with their feet by leaving the company?
The history of Western society's obsession with women's looks can be traced through the often peculiar, but revealing, history of gender representation on the ballet stage. Ballet's twin aesthetic of ethereal beauty and youthful sexual allure -- with an idealized view of women at the focal point -- has been achieved over centuries of restrictive body ideals and a monastic discipline.
Even if Caitlyn is setting an impossible standard for acceptance, she is only one early step toward acceptance for people of all gender expressions. We've come a long way over the last 10 and even five years. In your lifetime we will come even farther. You're an important part of that work.
My truth is not yours, nor my female identity yours, either. But I have my truth and my female identity, and all I ask is that you respect mine as I respect yours. I have travelled through the world as a woman and been shaped by it, just not for as long as you.
Today, post-Jenner, with the surrender of many religious conservatives on the impending "redefinition of marriage," they can no longer afford to treat trans persons as afterthoughts. We must be attacked head-on theologically. That, however, is proving to be rather difficult.
As I read about people criticizing social media for calling Caitlyn Jenner a hero, I think of my friend and all she went through. A hero is someone who puts other lives before their own. A hero can come in many forms.
We often hear that some folks 'have a problem' with transgender people. While we understand the complexities, especially for those with deeply held beliefs, we know that discrimination is, quite frankly, always discrimination. And it needs to stop.
Snoop, Timbaland and Drake Bell, I'm surprised by your insensitivity to Caitlyn Jenner. But Connor Cruise and Mike Huckabee, your ignorance about transgender people is majorly dismaying.
Our youth deserve every break they can get on their transition journey. In her interview with Diane Sawyer, Caitlyn expressed a desire to do what she can to help transgender youth. I am looking forward to her being in the struggle with the rest of us that just want to live our lives in safety and with dignity. We all need to pull together and do what we can to make things better for the younger generation.
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Excusing my flaws under the blanket of gender identity was easier than wrestling with them. I threw in the towel, and, over time, the resignation in my heart aged into acceptance.