June 30, 2009

"Transgender People Are Everywhere"

That's the title of an essay by someone who should know, Donna Rose, who is an advocate for transgender issues. She wrote this essay for CNN after Chaz Bono went public as a transsexual. Here's an excerpt:

Transgender people -- that is, people who may not experience or express their gender in ways that are necessarily typical for the physical sex of their body -- have been part of the fabric of cultures for as long as history has been recorded.

We're a cross-section of society -- pilots, engineers, doctors, factory
workers, artisans and pretty much anything else you can imagine. It was only a
matter of time before we came to Hollywood. Make no mistake -- Chaz isn't the first and certainly won't be the last.

Despite what others choose to believe, transsexual people are no longer relegated to hiding in safe little shadows for fear that society will detect them and punish them. We are far more than traditional stereotypes of transpeople as hookers, drug-users, porn stars or social misfits relegated to the fringes of society.

In a very real sense, transgender people are no one thing. We are everyone,
everywhere. Whether you realize it or not, we go to your school, we are active in your communities of faith, we are your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members.

A transgender person could be your neighbor, could be your teller at the bank, perhaps even sitting in the cubicle next to you at work. Most importantly, unlike what right-wign rhetoric would like to have you believe, the very fabric of society has NOT been destroyed as a result.

Click here to read the rest of Donna Rose's essay on CNN.com.

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