In February 2014 Queerty, the online magazine and newspaper focusing on gay topics, ran a piece titled "Seriously Sexy Trans Men Make Us Say 'Mmmm!'" What's interesting and horrid about the article? The comment section, which displayed the pervasive lack of understanding of transgender identities within the gay community.
When the hairstylist asked about my partner, I got to use female pronouns without feeling like I was breaking her trust in any way. I was strangely compelled to disclose my partner's transgender status, though. Why would I want to tack on some kind of modifier when identifying her as woman to a total stranger?
Recently, a video about a transgender child in California went viral. Sadly, like every other conversation about transgender children, the comments section was often unkind. Scanning the comments, I saw the same poorly thought-out ideas keep popping up. I think it's time to put these misconceptions to bed.
Dorothy Allison wrote, "Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is just this -- if we cannot name our own we are cut off at the root...." I use this quotation each year for my church's Trans Day of Remembrance service, an event I am tired of observing. I'm weary of counting our dead, and weary of reading the ways we die.