I was just cruising around my favorite (but getting to be a little annoying) cyber lesbian hangout, After Ellen. Don’t get me wrong, I love the site for the most part. There’s always such interesting information and the forum topics, although mostly posted by 17 year old baby dykes, can be entertaining as well as educational. One, in particular, annoyed me today. An AEer was pissy because an AE staffer posted a blog about President Obama’s newest nomination of a transgendered woman to the Department of Commerce.
When I read the headline I immediately thought, “Bravo, Mr. President! Way to make good one some of your campaign promises to be a bigger support to the LBGT community!” Most of the commenters had the same sentiment. Great start-now keep on truckin’ man! One, in particular, ruffled my feathers because the woman newly nominated to the Department of Commerce wasn’t a lesbian she didn’t feel she should be mentioned on the site. Really? Is that where we are as a community? I think not.
The thing about a community is that you have to be in it to win it. Each member of the community has to do their part in order for the community to be successful. In order for the community to be successful they have to work together, towards a common goal. That common goal, in the LBGT community is equal rights. The thing that was the most frustrating is the ignorance. It’s the same kind of ignorance that the straight world has in regard to LBGT issues. Some straight people are completely clueless to our issues as a community, to the injustices we face as a community and just because someone gets gender reassignment surgery doesn’t mean that their problems magically disappear. As far as I know (and I could be wrong) you can’t alter your birth certificate. You definitely cannot alter your internal organs. Therefore, while being respectful of a transgendered person’s identity and using masculine or feminine pronouns, that person is still trans.
For Thanksgaving this year I got to hang out with one of my friends and her boyfriend. This friend is a gay girl and her boyfriend is transgendered. He’s one of the most open transgendered people I’ve met in that he referred to himself both ways throughout the entire night because he is male but he’s also transgendered. I know that in all situations that way of referring to yourself isn’t the safest. God knows that so many transgendered men and woman are brutally assaulted every day because of who they are. On the other hand, having a voice and letting your voice be heard is what the main-stream straight world from Podunk, Idaho needs to hear and see. They need to see that being transgendered doesn’t mean that you fly a freak flag. Transgendered people are not oddities or weirdos or whatever folks who are ignorant say. They are people. Period.
Reading ignorance from a person who’s part of the LBGT community, in defense of her safe cyber space as a lesbian was enraging. It reeks of elitism. It was as if this person thought of herself better than this woman who is forging the way for so many LBGT people. To be a transgendered woman working for the government of the United States of America!? What a coup. I salute you, Amanda Simpson. Bravo! I’m so glad to have you as a part of my community and family.