Posts tagged “transitioning

Chaz Bono: The Sum of His Parts?

In all of the hubbub over Chaz Bono simply showing his face (and spiffy dance moves) on “Dancing with the Stars”, I feel like something has been lost. He is talked about as if he were no more than a collection of body parts, put together at will. He has been demonized for making a choice that feels right to him and his emotional state — a state to which the rest of us are not privy. And yet the conversation, as dictated by the media, misses the main point: Chaz Bono, like him or not, is a person. A full-fledged, living, thinking, feeling human being.

That the comments made toward him are — in large part — derogatory is almost to be expected. (The show itself is basically a circus, anyway, just in fancier dress.)  But by reducing the conversation to merely his physical state negates the other varied elements of his personae.

Many of us are afraid of those who are transgendered. We don’t understand them or their choices, dismissing them as “weird” or “other.” Yet we are all the same — creatures made by God (or your creator of choice), with a multitude of nuances, in incalculable varieties.

Within the gay community, there are many who believe that the transgendered should not be included within the LGBT umbrella, as being transgender is not an issue of sexual identity, but of gender identity. While I can see their point, and used to feel that way myself, as I evolve, I begin to see the bigger picture. It is not so much about gay, straight, bi, transgendered… It is about human.

One of the books which opened my eyes to this is the really terrific “Trans-Sister Radio”, by Chris Bohjalian (author of “Midwives”). In it, he creates a character transitioning from male to female, and follows how that process affects not only the character, but those around him.  It poses the question, if you’ve fallen in love with a man, how would your affection be altered — or would it — if that person transitioned to female?

By letting you into the character’s world, we see humanity, in all of its forms, attempting to grapple with something as fundamental as identity.  And following this particular character’s journey brought me greater understanding and empathy for those on similar paths.

In life, I believe that it is our job to keep growing, to become whomever we’re meant to be.  That means following your passion.  But how can you follow your passion if — at your very core — there is a disconnect between self-perception and biology?  As Steve Jobs noted, our “time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Be who you are.  Own it, live it.

We have a transgendered child at our church, 7 year old Danann (featured in the video below), who is transitioning from male to female.  While she has already experienced much discrimination in her few years on the planet, all I have to do is watch her happily singing with the choir to know that this is the right choice for her.  And I need to support her, and all other transgendered, because — as the song notes — “Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, All are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

How can someone take one look at Danann — or Chaz Bono — and even think anything else?