Understanding the Transgender Community

Understanding the Transgender Community

Understanding the transgender community is difficult for many as it causes us to question the traditional labels of gender identity and our own religious beliefs as to what constitutes a man and woman. Because of this, and the lack of knowledge of who the transgender community is, there is a tremendous amount of prejudice and fear of transgender people.

One of my transgender woman friends, Donna Kelli is a third degree black belt who served in Viet Nam and was a former police detective in the L.A. area.  Her transgender friend, Marilyn also served in the military and was a successful international banking executive.  Clearly, both of these transgender women have led and continue to lead a productive and fulfilling life.

Along the way, they married and had children. They are now living their lives as the women they always felt they were. The transition from living as a male to a female took years to commit to, even though both have stated they always felt they were a female.

While confusing for most, this is a trend I am seeing in the transgender community. They truly felt that they were little girls in a boy’s body, yet were unable to process this or garner support from their family. In fact, they were not even able to talk about it for fear of being committed to a mental facility! There were no role models for transgender people up to recently. The term transgender is a relatively new term.

These transgender women lived in silence while attempting to fit into society as males. They had no choice but to do so. They were attracted to women, dated them and married them, all while identifying internally as a woman, themselves. They didn’t know why they were born this way and still don’t know why, yet they are finally able to become the female they always felt they were.

I must tell you, when I first had the privilege of going on this journey of getting to know the transgender community, I was suspect as to the female from within, yet as I have now spoken to many transgender women on my radio podcast, Shades of Gender, I see a pattern that can’t be denied.

For some of you, the prospect of a woman’s soul being born in a male body is just too difficult to comprehend, and the societal labels and conditioning are embedded too deeply to have an open mind to understand what the transgender community is saying. I understand and certainly respect your own right to your beliefs

Yet, for those of you who have an open mind, I urge you to listen to the transgender community’s stories and their quest to become their authentic selves.

You can listen to Donna Kelli’s and Marilyn’s stories on my weekly radio podcast on Qchella Media and KGAY, Shades of Gender.

For more information on my show, please contact me at terrileeryan@gmail.com.





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