While this is still an issue for many in America, I believe it should go away as a problem. Because we have a Puritanical background and so many Americans are religious, it becomes an issue. It makes life for good people sad and difficult unnecessarily. What I want to say at the outset here is that no one asks to be different from the compact majority. It makes life hard, especially for children.
But, more importantly, these things cannot be changed. It is the rare person who is truly gay or transgendered that can change. No matter what method is tried; talk therapy, aversion therapy, hormone or other injections, none of it works in the end. You are programmed with whatever is in you to be what you believe you are; gay or transgendered.
The two are different in that one does not require surgery to have the body match the brain. No one really knows the cause.
Being gay means you can pass as a male or female and no one is the wiser unless the individual goes to some length to stand out for whatever reason. To finally, usually after years, accept the fact that you are gay means wrestling with being different and then, whom to trust enough to tell. Sometimes they tell no one for years. In some places, we have all heard how they are taunted and even killed because of other people’s ignorance or irrational fear.
Families likewise have terrible times dealing with the fact. While the individual may think something is wrong with them, the family may believe their child is gay and may try to ignore
it or wish it away. If they come to terms with it, they may believe they have done something wrong or carried a gene that caused the “condition.”
It is not easy on either side, and one of the things we try to do if we have the opportunity to counsel families is to have them attempt to accept and appreciate each other’s point of view and feelings. You don’t have to like what you can understand and be compassionate about!
Many gay couples have been together in loving relationships for years but the image, especially for men, is that they are promiscuous. This is not always the case and people need to look at each situation before jumping to conclusions. Females seem to stay in a committed relationship for longer periods than men usually.
Having children together, no matter how they are obtained can also be a problem and the child may bear the brunt of prejudice. The parents have to be strong and help the child combat whatever is thrust at them. Not ever easy.
The best advice is to find people who are tolerant and supportive and stick with them. Others may be helped to be educated, but if not, move on. What is amazing is the fact it is usually religious people, who preach love and respect that cause most of the anguish!
All of this is true for the transgendered person as well, but with a vengeance! How strong this group must be to go through what they must in order to live fully. Having worked for years with this population I can only tell you what respect I have for what they are made to bear.
At the end they have the additional problem of finding a way to pay for costly surgery to make them whole. It is a terrible problem that can go on for years. Most are persistent as they cannot live any other way. Again, the telling and the family connections require a raft of concerns and emotional upheaval. Many families just cannot accept their child ever again and that is tragic indeed. The person isn’t changing, only the shell.
Here again society does not understand it is not about sex. It is about who they are as people.
Most of the males to females find the one stage operation bearable and they go on with their lives. Often they are without men, but occasionally live as lesbians, which the outside world has a really hard time understanding.
They need breasts and often have facial plastic surgery, all costly. They spend time learning female movements and have to adjust their voices.
The female to male group has more and costlier surgery and often does not have a penis constructed. They more often than not usually find female companions. Interesting. Many thoughts about why this may be the case.
They need mastectomies and hysterectomies and can often end up balding.
The penis in the male to female group is not “cut off.” It is a different use of the skin that is inverted to make a vagina. It works and looks fine. They can be orgasmic as the nerve endings and prostate are left in, and “massaged” during intercourse. They take hormones for life.
The female to male group has to have several operations and the construction of a penis can be done in several fashions from using the clitoris, to making a penis from skin, and even installing a penile implant for erection. Ejaculation is not possible but a form of orgasm is. They too receive hormones for life.
Neither group is able to bear children.
So the message is fuck it! Be what you are and get strong enough emotionally to deal with friends, family and the world.