I have friends who are… but…

There have been some very deep stories on lately. Hearts opening up in ways they couldn’t before. Laid bare for all to see. For all to touch a piece of a person’s soul.

We all have them. Stories that haunt us from our past. Stories that stay buried deep in the wells of yesterday because we don’t want to remember. Or maybe we DO remember all too well and don’t want to relive the pain, the helplessness. The fear of that moment. I have them too. And there will always be those memories that I will never share. I will take them to the grave. That is my choice.

But I do recognize and honor those who do share. Those who bare the raw pieces of memory for all to see. Hopefully to help and understand. It’s not easy. It’s damn, outright hard. And you have more guts than I have.

But somewhere along the way we lose sight that shared or not the memories do serve a purpose. And that is a lesson. Trite, maybe. But none the less true. We all suffer in life and that’s the hardest thing for humans to understand.

We curse at whatever god we pray to (for those that do) when tragedy strikes. We want to understand why bad things happen all around us. We can’t fathom or comprehend the WHY.

I don’t believe we are supposed to.

But we should learn something from it.

“Do unto others…” is so much more profound than most people who give it lip service know. We say to do unto others as we would have them do unto us but when push comes to shove, when others do horrible things unto us, we change it to “Do unto others as THEY HAVE DONE UNTO US”. Not the same now it is?

Why bully others when you yourself have been bullied? To share the pain? Because you can? Where does it stop?

Why deny others what has been denied to you? To make a point? Because you can? When does it stop?

Why impose your beliefs on others when you wouldn’t want them to impose their beliefs on you? Are you sure you’re in the right? Because you can? Who stops the destructive cycle?

It stops here. It stops now. It stops with each of us.

I read here today someone talking first about how they know gays, they have friends who are gay, they know people who are trans, they have friends who are trans. And as I read I thought of all the times someone has said “I know people who are <fill in the blank>. I have friends who are <fill in the blank>” and then proceed to say “however” and “but” as if saying you have and know those friends takes away from whatever came after. If you start by saying “I have friends who are… but…” then you really, really don’t get it at all.

You can’t be taken seriously if you talk out of one side of your mouth how you have all these “friends” and then talk out of the other side and say, regardless of what “type” they fit into, you don’t agree with them. Okay, you CAN “say” it but you lost all credibility when you start that way. What you say means nothing when you start that way.

It shouldn’t matter the situation. AT ALL. Whether you disagree with pre-op trans people wanting to be in a bathroom of their birth gender or want to use a bathroom of their identified gender shouldn’t matter. They just want to feel comfortable too. If you are in a locker room and there is a transgender person in there they aren’t there to make you feel uncomfortable. And if you do that’s on YOU. I do know trans people and they are just as aware that you may be as uncomfortable as they feel. But by shunning them you are telling them they don’t matter. Only you matter. If your personal space is so big that someone being on the other side of a locker room is so intimidating then you might not want to go out into the world.

Yes, I get it. Not everyone out in the world is naked. Maybe they should be. Each and every one of us. Drop the stereotypes. Drop the masks. Drop the preconceived notions. Not every person out there is out to make you uncomfortable. Not every person out there “wants” you.

A little bit about me, just for perspective. I am bi-sexual. I don’t usually tell people (and of course now I’ve pretty much told the world but whatever) because it’s not the only thing about me. I’m also a grandmother, hate ice cream and love Enya but I don’t announce those things to everyone I meet either. But being bi has always come with a stigma. I am always asked really annoying questions like “Oh, so that means you like threesomes, huh?” Um, nope. That’s not what that means. “Oh, so you can’t make up your mind, huh?” Um, nope again. That’s NOT what that means. “Oh, so you want to have sex with EVERYONE you see on the street! Right?” Um. NO. Just NO.

Now knowing that, am I also too much to handle in a woman’s locker room? Do I intimidate you? I mean, I’m BI for Christ’s sake. I want ALL women didn’t cha know! Do I get into your personal space when your naked even though I probably haven’t even looked your way? Is my boobs and vagina intimidating? After all, I like boobs and vagina! I must be there to try and get a peek or fondle of yours!

See how ridiculous that sounds? And if you really think I’m there to ogle you then that really is a personal problem. Really. It is. If you see me in a locker room (which I think are horrible places, unsanitary and reminds me of high school just a bit too much for my comfort. Yep my issue) and think for a moment I’m there to snag a shag with whatever woman is changing then you would be dead wrong. I’m probably the one who is in and out of that nasty room as fast as I can so I can go home and scrub with lye.

So, if a pre-op transgender is in that locker room with you, s/he is not there to molest, ogle, hit on and/or get off on seeing all those women in there. Most of the pre-ops I know HATE their birth gender private parts. They want nothing to do with them. They would give anything, and are giving everything, to be done with them. The last thing on their minds would be waving their hated penises in your face. They probably would be in a hidden corner of the locker room where no one can see them so they can get changed and be done. Or they are waiting for the showers to be empty so they can get in and out without being seen. They aren’t there to intimidate you at all. Quite frankly, you intimidate them more than they do you.

I do agree with some of the things that I’ve read that we do have a culture here in the US that perpetuates this stigma. We are so puritan in nature that the human body is shameful and needs to be hidden. It’s a sin. It’s ugly. It’s unclean. It’s immoral.

The human body is beautiful. It shouldn’t be seen or taught as anything else but. It should be respected. It should be honored. It’s sacred. And not in a hide it away only to be shown to a rare few sacred. But embraced for what it is. The flesh that houses the heart and soul of a person.

Are we, as a culture, there yet? Not even fucking close. But we will never get there as long as people continue to say things like “I have friends who are… but…”.

We need to start saying “I have friends who are… and I understand and stand beside them. Unconditionally.”

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