I was walking with a peer who has had problems with the LGBT community as a whole. At first his problem was with gays and homosexuality in general. Then, when he met me and was all but forced to work with me, he decided that some gays are okay, if only just me.

Just when I thought I was making serious headway with this mans perception of the LGBT community, transgender ism came up. Specifically, one of our more obnoxious trans girls here came up. I only know her as a girl and she is sorely out of place in an all male prison. Normal things for her are security threats to the prison, like using a golf pencil for eye liner.

He began asking me about the girl by saying “who is that one guy?” and “what’s his name?” It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about because the usage of “he” confused me.
Once I figured it out that he was refusing to acknowledge her womanhood so dramatically, I got offended. He was refusing to call her by even her name, which is legal and not a nick name. Demanding to know her “birth” name.

This charade went on for only a few minutes before I cut the conversation short. I was not going to argue with his logic. In fact, there was not much I could have said anyways.

This serves as a firsthand account of what transgendered individuals are facing daily. I see this glimmer of discrimination and get terribly offended about it. It hurts my feelings and I am not trans. So I can only imagine what walls exist for those who are and face this bigotry daily.

I am not sure much can be done with those that believe gender is solely defined by outward parts. As someone who is gender queer I know for sure that gender is in the mind. Its what you know inside and it takes serious courage to risk losing everyone to go with what you know to be true rather than what society tells you should be true.

Gender conformity is a big deal and as a people we need to be especially sensitive to transgender issues. Transgendered individuals do not usually spend a lot of time with homosexual people because they want the separation from being classified as gay men and women.

I cannot say that I blame them. It is our responsibility as their brothers and sisters of the LGBT family to stick up for their honor. Something small like a pronoun behind their back isn’t so small. Its hurtful just the same as any derogatory word is meant to be hurtful and it should not be rewarded with our attention or approval.

FYI, the gentlemen that refused to refer to the girl by any feminine pronoun, I befuddled by telling him that her legal name was the name she went by, it wasn’t a nick name. I also let him know how hurtful he was being by simply saying “If she heard you say that, it would hurt her very real feelings, besides, what is her gender to you? Are you having problems with a physical attraction?”

That shut him up…

With Love
Jeff Utnage