“Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above.” – Virginia Woolf
We all are conditioned to the stereotypical ideals of what a male or female should be; what they look like, how they behave, and what they do sexually. Gender.
Well, I am here to tell you many people do not conform to those standards and as a result they are shunned, or abused in many forms, and they suffer greatly. Attitudes can wreak havoc on other people’s lives. Whenever you are, ‘different’ no matter how; you are subject to discrimination.
In the realm of sexuality, it is often totally hypocritical and the people professing to have the ‘right’ way are often the most repressed in this realm.
As those of you who follow my blog know, I have counseled trans-gendered individuals and their loved ones for decades. My book, ’Transsexuals; Life From Both Sides’ was written fifteen years ago and is the rare book that has pictures of finished surgery of both males and females in it. Half of the book is first person accounts of my clients’ lives.
As a result, I have the utmost respect and empathy for people who have to go through life with this difficulty.
You cannot imagine the strength it takes. Family are often not understanding let alone supportive. Friends and work are kept in the dark and living a lie becomes the hard reality.
A new film, ‘The Danish Girl’ is about one of the very first transsexual operations.
It is the story of the artist, ‘Lili Elbe.’ ‘He’ was born in 1882.
‘He’ was born and lived in Denmark and after four operations, the last in Dresden, Germany, ‘she’ died.
The story is beautifully told and the best part is the love between ‘him’ and his wife Gerda Gottlieb, also an artist of some repute. They married in 1904 while in college and divorced after the surgeries began. Their love was remarkable and withstood the intense change that went on in their lives.
There are few relationships that can endure as theirs did, even with Lili going out as female.
Lili died in 1930 at age forty-eight.
Gerda remarried and died penniless in 1940. Life!!
Lili wrote an autobiography, ‘Man Into Woman’ in 1933. Many transgendered individuals read it for inspiration today.
While the surgery has greatly improved and attitudes are changing, thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, and TV series like, ’Transparent,’ both transgendered people as well as homosexuals still suffer needlessly.
As a relationship counselor all these years I can tell you the issues are the same whether you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered.
The reason being we are human and our relationships involve ever so much more than what is between our legs and how we use our, ’equipment.’
When it comes to LOVE no one has all the answers and we do not teach how to love totally.
To be a truly loving person requires a great deal and not everyone is up for what is needed. In fact, the majority probably suffer as a result of their incapacity and unwillingness to do what is necessary.
Hence the reason for my blog.
We can all have qualities, from time to time, that one would label belonging to the opposite sex. If we are mainly cisgender, (comfortable in the gender into which we are born), that makes life simpler.
If we are not at peace within ourselves there is no way we can be happy or let alone, make another happy.
Gender is core to who we are.
Unfortunately, the examples of what we should be like in that gender are exaggerated often and we are not movie stars or models, usually.
Being a real person with flaws and needs suits most of us, most of the time.
It is often in childhood, when we do not have strong defenses or support, that the damage is done. It is hard to recover from early hurts and not fitting in. This is especially true when it comes to sexuality.
So, see the film, sympathize with the characters, and learn how to become a more caring person with people who are different. It would be a good resolution for this new year!
“Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.” – Matthew Arnold