I’m putting aside writing about the artificial heart project, for now, to express my opinion on the political uproar over Senator Larry Craig. In the Opinion Page of the Courier-Journal Wednesday, September 5, I read James E. McGreevey’s article about closeted homosexuals. It may be the best article I have read in a newspaper on the subject and I applaud the Courier-Journal for printing this very informed article. If you have never had the misfortune of having to live in the closet, due to no fault of your own, but, forced there by society’s narrow-minded stance, then none of us can fully understand what that kind of life that would be like. How stifling the limitations and the suffering you would have, feeling that you were living a lie. A day-to-day torment between what you were born to be, and the façade you were forced to have for yourself in order to survive. I felt his last two paragraphs had such impact. He said, “Is it possible that we hold him (L. Craig) to a different standard because a same-sex entanglement is involved? If being gay is, as I believe, a natural gift of the creator, what choice does a gay person have in being gay? If we condemn sin in an equal manner, so be it. But what if our condemnation tells to members of the next generation that they are to be shamed, repudiated and vilified inequitable for being gay? I pray that the next tide of American history continues to sweep toward the inevitable expansion of freedom that recognizes the worth and dignity of every individual…and that mine is the last generation that is required to choose between affairs of the heart and elected office.”
My personal perspective is that it is high time that gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered people be accepted as part of the population just as left-handed people are. If you asked a left-handed person…”exactly when did you decide to be left-handed?” I am sure that with a puzzled look, the leftie would say, “I never chose. That was the way I was born.” So it is with gay and transgendered people. They are as they were born.
I have a grandson who is eleven, and is transgendered. Although he was born with the body of a female, he was never thus. Now, as foreign as this may sound to many, perhaps it is not so foreign to many who understand that to be different is not to be bad, and neither does it give one segment of the population the right to condemn another. What crime has been committed?
Homosexual people are not the child abusers. Pedophiles are the child abusers. Our society has labeled homosexual or transsexual people as criminals and deviants. This is not true.
I would like to explain to you what a normal day is for my grandson. He gets up at 5:30 AM, dresses, eats breakfast, and catches the school bus. Midway in his journey to get all the way downtown, he has to switch busses, choosing his amongst many busses. He takes the second bus downtown where he goes to a special school. No, not a school for the handicapped or the unstable, but to an upper floor of this downtown school devoted to the exceptionally gifted children. He is in sixth grade. He is amazing. An engineer comes in daily to teach these kids engineering. Classes are open and minimally structured, because these gifted children do not need the normal structuring. They are there because they are high achievers and want to learn and to achieve their goals. He is the only transgendered child this very large middle school has ever heard of, just as was true of his grade school. Thankfully, we have had principals and teachers who are willing to accept him as a boy. No one would ever take him for a girl. It has taken me some time to come to grips with this, as there are so many unanswered questions ahead. So we have had to drop back to the “one day at a time” philosophy and take it as it comes. We have to travel to Chicago to see a doctor who is knowledgeable in trangendered children. Most MDs have never heard of it, and when they are made aware, have no interest in taking a trans-kid as a patient. It is interesting to note that the most immediate acceptance came from his three siblings.
I was advised by a friend not to write about this in The Waynedale News because “they are very conservative” and it was felt that my Waynedale friends would reject what I have to say, and indeed, be unable to accept the very concept that transgenderism occurs. I say that those reading this article will be open-minded and accepting. I don’t think I will get any hate mail, but if I do, I will just be grateful to those of you who can nod and say…yes, I know someone like that.
If we could just live and let live. If we could just refuse to be judge and jury to everyone who is different from us, how much easier all our lives would be.
At this time, my grandson is doing exceptionally well. He takes oral medication called blockers which will keep him from developing female secondary characteristics: menses, and breasts. He is very fortunate, and the first of a group of kids who will have the benefit of intervention, rather than have double mastectomies later.
Fortunately there is a very large group of parents and grandparents on a website which includes professionals. We know, in every state, who to trust, and who to avoid (MDs). It is not only a great support group, but also a rare, huge information base. And we are getting new members all the time. Which makes me ask: is it really so rare or has it just been shoved under the shameful rug for generations?
I hope that those of you who have not read James McGreevey’s article will take the time to read it. It is my wish that those of you who have read it reaped a greater understanding of what so many of the men, women, and kids face each day of fitting into a mold that was not meant for them.
Many blessings to my Waynedale friends,
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