Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it. ~ anonymous
I speak from experience as I am a biological female who married and divorced a Transgender man, a FTM (female to male). I want to share what I know now.
Falling in love with anyone is supposed to be the most beautiful experience in life. But, being a Transgender in today’s society can be complicated for them regarding their sacred journey. For those unique individuals they must consider certain factors that most of us take for granted in everyday life. Trust and safety issues are always on the fore front of their minds. For an FTM (female to male) or MTF (male to female), the risk is high of being rejected or finding themselves in a hostile situation, leading to a hate crime. One can even say that they put their lives on the line, daily. Who can one trust in coming out?
According to Riley, & Wong & Sitharthan (2011), “According to Carroll, Gilroy, and Ryan (2002), the extent of “gender privilege” a non-transgender person experiences in society is “alarming and ubiquitous” (p. 137), and rights for transgender individuals are most often limited…”
Unfortunately, so many Transsexual individuals feel they are in the closet and not able to share their inner most self with newly found friends or potential love interests. This is a frustrating and a rocky road as their body progressively matches their mind with the proper surgeries and hormones. The passage into their gender as they integrate themselves into society as their innate sex is not one that is taken lightly, but destined.
Furthermore, discrimination is prevalent regardless of where one lives and unfortunately, most states do not have laws implemented to protect the Transgender individual. In my eyes, they are the victims with no legal backing when it comes to divorce, child custody or even employment possibilities. It is common knowledge that in thirty eight states a Transgender could be fired solely based on a label, a way of life…the only life they knew.
Bottom line, a Transgender does not wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll be a Transgender today.”
Think of it as someone deciding; today is the day, “I am going to be heterosexual.”
Nor would anyone place themselves intentionally in society with this gender disorder based on such negative undertones associated with our communities. It is unfortunate that we live in a time when acceptance and tolerance are considered taboo. What is needed is a push beyond the comfort zone…personally speaking. With an open mind, the turmoil of societal and cultural dynamics will see the new boundaries that need to be intersected. The time has come to take off the blinders and see the world through a new lens of diversity, don’t you agree?
Riley, E. A. & Wong, W. K. T. & Sitharthan, G. (2011). Counseling Support for the Forgotten Transgender Community. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 23. 395–410. Retrieved January 24, 2012, from http://www.peoplesmart.net.au/Riley%202011%20UoS%20Counseling%20support%20for%20the%20forgotten%20TG%20community%20Riley%202011.pdf
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