Diane Speaks His Piece
You may think Diane is an odd name for a guy, but thats Dianes point. He claims to be a woman, simply a woman, and identifies himself, in case you havent already guessed, as a transsexual.
Sorry, Diane, but you arent a woman; youre a mutilated man. And you arent a transsexual, because theres no such thing. Let me know when you get pregnant, and Ill reconsider my position.
Diane informs me that he is legally a woman which I dont doubt, the law being what it is these days and is so identified on his baptismal certificate. He also says hes been married to his husband for 20 years and is a practicing Catholic. Sure. He must belong to John Kerrys parish.
By way of enlightening the sons of darkness, Diane explains (sigh!) that Im confusing transsexuals with transvestites, homosexuals, drag queens, and such. Transsexualism, he assures me, is not a choice.
News to me! Id have thought that if anything was elective surgery, it was ... well, that. But according to Diane, one is born transsexual a womans brain trapped in a mans body, and so forth and only later decides whether to have the doc bring them into alignment. Supportive studies and research, he goes on, is [sic] giving strong support to this [view]. Thats always the way with supportive research, isnt it?
Wait, theres more. Diane, writing in late October, warns me that I may tip the election to Kerry. It seems that many in the transsexual community are leaning to President Bush, but are put off by Bush partisans like me transphobic bigots, he calls them who preach hate and make unwarranted attacks against them. And if the 2004 election is as close as the 2000 election, the transsexual vote could make the difference.
Well, here its my turn to be deeply offended by Dianes presumption that Im a Bush partisan. Ive repeatedly said I consider George W. Bush one of our worst presidents ever. Why do so many transsexuals harbor the stereotype that we transphobic bigots are Republicans?
I dont pretend to speak for the entire transphobic community, but my own strong belief is that transphobia is not a matter of choice. I was born this way, and there is nothing wrong with it. We are all children of God, and labels dont mean anything anyway. I very deeply respect Dianes belief that he is a woman, which is his constitutional right as an American, but when he tries to legislate that belief on others by having the government legally certify him as a woman, I draw the line. That judgment must be left to each of us.
I know many people who consider themselves women, and I rarely argue the point with them. Most of them are confident and comfortable in their womanhood and require no corrective surgery. Many of them marry and have babies. If Diane had ever had a baby, Im sure hed have mentioned it. That would have provided him the perfect illustration of my ignorance of transsexualism.
There are always weird people here and there, but we live in the age of the aggressively abnormal people who are ever ready to pounce on you for believing what everyone has always taken for granted, like the existence of two distinct sexes. The simplest common sense, or even a quip, is now called hate.
It would seem to follow from Dianes account that transsexualism must also occur among animals a sows brain trapped in a boars body, a hens brain trapped in a roosters body. But if so, veterinary science seems unaware of it and is doing virtually nothing about it. Maybe the supportive research is still in the early stages.
One of my favorite lines from the classics has always been Nothing human is alien to me. After pondering Dianes message, Im not sure I can say that without qualification.
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