As more and more Transgender people come out to tell their story, they are becoming more organized in their fight to be accepted by society. I am speaking about the transsexuals who believe they were born in the wrong body, the wrong gender and whether or not they have had a full-gender reassignment, they are living their lives opposite of what they were born as.
Because of this, the term Transgender is being used as a catch-phrase for the entire Trans community of cross-dressers, transsexual’s pre-op or post-op surgery, androgyne, bi-gender and gender queer. Clearly the transsexuals are the most talked-about as medical advances support their transition.
There is a current movement toward acceptance of the transsexual community with TV shows like Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Bruce Jenner’s reality show and All That Jazz. Being a transgender person is the hottest thing to hit Hollywood, it seems. And certainly these shows will raise awareness and help the public begin to understand what a transsexual is and eliminate some of the fear of this group by “normalizing it.”
The latest show to hit the airwaves is TLC’s docu-series, All That Jazz. It revolves around 14-year old transgender activist Jazz Jennings, a boy who believes he is a girl, as she juggles her foray into high school, while navigating how a transgender teen approaches dating and sleepovers all while avoiding male puberty.
I have a growing number of transgender friends, some who have had reassignment surgery and others who are unable to afford to or are not in good health to go through the surgery, yet all are living their lives as a woman. And, they are passionate about going out and sharing their stories and living life as what they say is their “authentic self” after living what they say has been a lie for most of their lives.
So as the media embraces the transgender community, the government writes laws to protect this group and the public becomes informed and familiar with this group, there will be more acceptance of what was once considered amoral. As usual, the younger generation will lead the way as they are exposed earlier to the transgender youth.
Much like protected classes before them, it will take time, education, tolerance and exposure. Yet, not all will ever accept a transgender person into their lives and not be accepting of this group. Honestly, nor should they have to as long as they treat this group with respect. Yet, sadly some will not even do this.
And so the transgender movement continues with a vengeance. The door has opened for the good and the more we all learn about this group, the better it is for everyone. It’s complicated, even for those of us who have had exposure. I encourage the transgender community to give us time to learn and digest, especially for those of us who were raised with prejudice of most protected classes.