Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Change is a comin'

Some exciting and promising events have been taking place both personally, and in the news, that make me more and more hopeful for the happy futures of folks of all gender identities and sexual orientation, for that matter.  Let us consider the promising events of the past couple of years:

The Girl Scouts of America organization's statement that they will accept any child who professes to be and presents as a girl into their organization, with parental consent.

OWN-the Oprah Winfrey Network airs a documentary about Cher Bono and her transgender son, Chaz.

CNN airs a positive piece on a transgender female child whose parents are supportive, as is her community,  and her playmates.

WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, has revised its Standards of Care so that its verbiage is more supportive than ever of transgender and gender queer individuals.

A prominent pop artist in England was successfully able to have gender confirmation surgery and her story was also televised on the abovementioned CNN special.  She was the youngest person in the world (age 16) to have the surgery indicating more surgeons' willingness to see that early interventions often lead to happier lives for transgender folks; this is excellent progress in light of the fact that most problems these folks have are anxiety and depressive issues secondary to non-acceptance in the world after years of living in the wrong body.

There are child welfare agencies in the federal government that are in tuned to this issue and have been educating themselves for the last couple of years, to my knowledge.  For all I know, they have been working toward the improvement of care for transgender children for far longer than that.

Doctors are increasingly understanding the importance of early intervention and authorizing more frequent use of puberty delaying hormones in children.  Since the effects are completely reversible, the doctors feel "safer" and it gives the child an opportunity to start living as the gender with which they identify. As a result, they may never have to go through the excruciating process of puberty in the wrong body.

While we have movements that want to "define" marriage, we have states that have legalized same sex marriages.  There are many of us straight folks who stand behind homosexual families who want the same legal rights and financial protections that the rest of us enjoy.

Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  All I can say is, "Finally.  Alleluia and Amen."

We have more and more local governments and employers who are adding verbiage to their guidelines stating that discrimination based on a person's orientation or gender is unlawful.

Then I have boatloads of anecdotal information that illustrates that this world is changing.  No, we are not there yet.  But if we want to be able to get out of bed in the morning, we have to be able to see that there is hope whether we are the transgender individual, or the parents, family or friends of a person who is transgendered.  You brave folks who are carrying the torch-I thank you and applaud your courage.  To quote Lady Gaga, not only were you born this way, but you were born to be brave and as a result, can teach the rest of us schmoes how to accept folks of all walks of life.

But it's not  your job to teach us.  You must simply be true to yourself in the way that works best for you.  

There are a lot of us "mainstream" folks who are in your corner.  Change is a comin';  granted, perhaps  not fast enough, but it's happening.  Keep the faith.