Guest Author - J. Ruel
he LGBT community has so many letters of inclusion. It is a community that is as diverse as it is unique. It is a community that has been hard-fought, and let down so many times, that the sense of community is insurmountable. The community is stronger than any government, any religion, any person, or even any species. However, it does have it’s problems and it’s own often times, confusing, conflicts. Trans... The T in LGBT community, and the one so often misunderstood and wrongfully considered the bastard red-headed stepchild in the family.
The struggles of the LGBT community are widely known in this era of up-to-the-minute news reporting around the world. With the advent of the internet age, information can be “googled” at the touch of the fingers. We can literally find out all the information we want if we are willing to take the time to do a little thing called research. It doesn’t take much time, however, but it seems like it is a pain in the backsides of many. Consider the Trans community. There is so much information out there on the internet to learn about anything Trans. However, people don’t take the time and make many assumptions which are wrong. And because of this lack of knowledge, or ignorance, the Trans community suffers unrightfully so.
The disparity between the “gays” and the “others” has always been present. We as humans need to label ourselves. We need to fit into nice neat little boxes so that we feel we are a part of a more larger thing. We feel the need to just ... Belong. That feeling is so great that when we come across something that cannot be easily defined in our heads or in our tally books, we tend to shun it, to push it aside, to sweep it under the rock. For many years in the gay community, it was never to be talked about. What was it? It, simply was Trans... Trans anything. We didn’t discuss transgender, transsexual, transvestites, and so forth. They weren’t part of “our” community. That community being the “gay” one. The one where we were easily defined as liking someone of the same sex. But, as trans issues arose, and the community became more visible, the disparity between the gay community and the trans community became even more visible. Trans persons were hard to define. They were too different. They were “gender benders” and not in the style of the Drag Queen or King. They were “gender dysmorphic” and not of the right mind. Hell, a gay man knows he is gay because he is attracted to other men. A gay woman knows she’s a lesbian because she is attracted to another woman. But as it concerned Trans... How do you easily define “it”. She is a he who is attracted to women, therefore “He” is straight. He is a she who is attracted to other women, therefore “She’ is Lesbian. Trans didn’t fit into neat little boxes, and we as humans and as gay people, didn’t want to be a part of that confusion, that disorder, that psychological dichotomy.
This struggle continues today. The Trans community is as visible as the Gay community. Many brave members of our community reached out and in turn embraced the Trans community under our umbrella community because it was the right thing to do. We as gay people are blessed to have two types of families. We have the family that we are born with, the ones that we can trace our genetic lineage to. Then, we have our chosen family. The family that embraces us for who we are disregarding our past, and living together for the present and future. This is a special family, as we have nothing other than love and acceptance to tie us together. And if we are going to continue to embrace those who are different, who “normal” society casts out as strange, queer, not like us, then we must continue to build bridges instead of walls. There isn’t time for calling out freak and running away. It’s time to wash the egg off our own faces and realize the mistakes we made in the past in order to secure the future. The LGBT family is like alphabet soup. We are all different, yet when put together, we make something magical. So stop ignoring the T, and use a little love to become the LGBT we have always been and will continue to forever be!