My son’s best friend is trans (female to male). He has encountered a lot of ignorance and bullying. He lives with a severe version of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and this is more than enough of a challenge without people always telling him that he’s a “freak” or a “pervert.”
I don’t know how long this young man has in this world. All the medications he’s on plus the effects of the disease on his vascular system have caused him to have seizures and, more recently, a subarachnoid bleed and a stroke. He’s not even 20 years old.
This boy is not a pervert or a sicko, he is simply a person who feels that he was born into a body of the wrong gender. He is the gentlest soul and does not deserve the abuses that have been heaped on him.
It can’t be emphasized enough: Coming out as transgender or any variation thereof is downright terrifying. It is often met with criticism, resistance, and invalidation. When I came out to friends, it felt like the world was crashing down all around me.
And by far, the worst part was the resistance I faced when asking others to stop saying “she.” Beyond coming out, we also ask others to change a very ingrained habit — to use different pronouns when speaking about us. This is where I encountered the most turmoil.
Some folks simply don’t understand what they are saying when they refuse to use someone’s preferred gender pronouns.
When someone states their preferred pronouns (he, she, ze, they, etc), they are asking for your respect. And when you choose not to use these pronouns, and instead opt for your own, you are not only invalidating someone’s identity, but you are…
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