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Updated on December 16, 2015

Many transgendered people have ended their lives like Leelah Alcorn did a year ago. In the note she left on Twitter, she talks about how her parents did not allow her to display female behavior such as wearing dresses or identifying as female. At her funeral, her parents dressed her up as a boy and referred to her as "their son". I had to un-friend someone on Facebook for his nasty comments towards a transgendered character of a story I am writing in the future. He was THAT put off by the idea that he had to speak out against a fictional character. And this was a person whom I considered open minded and unprejudiced on LGBT issues. I was wrong.

There is never a reason to bully, make fun of, or disown someone because they are transgendered just like any other difference. Feeling uncomfortable is a natural reaction to something new. As humans, we fear what we no nothing about out of our own protection but we are also evolved enough to challenge those fears. We reason; we ask questions; we get used to those differences and they are no longer scary. They become familiar. It all depends on how much you care about that person to go through the discomfort and fear until it goes away.

How much, as a parent, do you care about your child?

Do you know someone who is transgender?

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Being the internet, someone found her mother's personal information, like where she works, and there is a mob trying to get her fired and sending her death threats. She deserves to know what it is like to be bullied and judged by others, but the internet always takes it too far. Everyone thinks they are a vigilante with the right to punish others when they are just taking their own anger out on someone. When hot issues like transgender...ism.. come into the spotlight it is the prohibition of discomfort and asking questions. This is the time to ask questions and learn!

Transgender, but still a jerk
Transgender, but still a jerk | Source

One thing about transgender issues that I cannot stress enough is that it takes time to get used to the idea if you are not accustomed to the community. I would like to think of myself as an open and understanding person but even I have trouble with pronouns in the transgender community. It is basically the opposite of what you would think. "He is a she" but "she" is the pronoun that needs to be used. We have to split up the body and the mind. I guess it has to do with the distinction of whether said transgendered person has gone through reassignment surgery or has done everything they are going to do in their transformation. She is a she but with a he body. With that in mind, please be patient with those who are trying to get it right. We mean no offense.

I grew up in a strict Fundamental Baptist family but I had a gay uncle. On the outside, he was still my uncle. Nothing had changed. However, when I went to college, I met a male-to-female transgendered individual (transgendered female?) who had undergone hormonal therapy and reassignment surgery. She was a witty, kind, and great person to be around but she was a hugger. At first, I was not comfortable touching her because I did not know what to expect. I felt like the kids in Mrs. Doubtfire. It was awkward and I needed time to get used to her not as a person, but as a different physical body than what I knew as born male and born female.

Born as
Identify as
Cis Male
Trans Male
Cis Female
Trans Female
Male OR Female
Not that the world needs anymore labels, but for those who are confused.
Chaz Bono- Born Chastity of Sonny Bono and Cher. Trans (female to male) Male
Chaz Bono- Born Chastity of Sonny Bono and Cher. Trans (female to male) Male

What I am trying to say is, it is okay to be nervous around that which you do not understand and society needs to be patient, answer your questions, and not judge you because something like meeting a transgendered individual is new to you. However, you owe it to society to be open-minded and not to be an jerk


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