Wednesday, February 15, 2012
It's Just Wrong! A blog for Crossdresser.com by CiCiKitten
Because of the progress that transpeople have made in the world today, we’re getting a lot more media coverage and airtime. From legislative changes to Chaz Bono dancing on prime time television to stories of parents of gender variant children allowing their kids to live the way they wish to, most of what’s happening is positive. And even the more negative stuff that we hear is still a sign of the progress we’re making and the acceptance that is slowly, gradually, sometimes begrudgingly, coming to our community as a whole.
But with that, as expected, comes a backlash. Talk show pundits, conservative or religious leaders, and online bloggers are quick to fire back at every step of progress we make. Some insult us. Some deny us our right to exist. And some just plain spew hate.
But very few can make a logical argument against us. And no one can win a logical argument against us.
Because here in America, we live in a free society. I don’t believe “freedom of expression” is specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but I know that “freedom of speech” is, and that has usually been broadened to mean “freedom of expression.” I’m not sure why the haters don’t get this simple fact of law. Forget about the fact that I don’t see why they feel the need to stick their noses in my business any way! But why on earth would any American who’s enjoying the freedoms that this country provides wish to start us down a path where we start limiting freedoms? I don’t care if you’re straight or gay, vanilla or kinky, Democrat or Republican, you can’t want to go down that road. And if I’m not hurting anyone (other than myself through the possibility of losing my job, my career, my retirement, my family, and/or my romantic relationships just for starters), then why should anyone else care?
But they do care. And they do not give up easily. So eventually, as the arguments against us are dismissed one by one, sooner or later it will happen. The pundit on TV, the preacher in the pulpit, the anonymous online message poster, and, sadly, sometimes, the loving wife sitting across from you on the couch, will utter that final, condemning statement. The only argument they have left in their underequipped arsenal. And they will look into the camera or they will look into your eyes and they will say, “It’s just wrong.”
Their other arguments hold no weight. Their attempts to conjure the “good old days” or Bible references or biological facts haven’t changed us. So all they have left is, “It’s just wrong.” A woman should not live as a man. A man should not live as a woman.
That kind of argument reminds me a lot of what my father used to say when he didn’t have a good reason for forbidding me to do something. He’d simply say, “Because I said so.” It was a cop out. It was a fall back for when all other arguments had failed. And it’s the same way with, “It’s just wrong.”
Cross dressing isn’t wrong. It may not be traditional. Or conventional. Or even typical. But that doesn’t make it wrong. It only makes it unique. Special. Delightfully unconventional. And what a sad world this would be if only the conventional were allowed to thrive. We’d still be living in the Stone Age. I contend that most of the greatest developments, inventions and revolutionary ideas in history have come from individuals who were unconventional. People who thought outside the norm. And had the strength of their conviction to stand up to the naysayers and the haters.
Now I’m not putting crossdressers on the same level as Galileo or Einstein or Jonas Salk. But you get the idea. Noncomformists rock! And if you look back over history, time and time again, they’ve rocked the world.
Often the pundits will dismiss freedom as expressed in our Bill of Rights by saying, “That’s not what the founding fathers intended.” As if we know what the founding fathers intended! Or that we even know if most of the founding fathers agreed on every point. (I’m sure they didn’t.) All we know is that they debated long and hard over a lot of what’s in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and what we have today is what they came up with. And what we have today is pretty special. The blueprint for what Lincoln later called, this “noble experiment” -- this idea that people could govern themselves. Make their own decisions. Elect their own leaders. Make up their own laws.
Apparently this idea was pretty radical at the time. And it’s been tested pretty hard over the past 200 years or so. And, honestly, it hasn’t always served its citizenry well. Ask any woman. Ask any slave. Ask any minority. America’s history is messy and fraught with mistakes. But what those founding fathers came up with is still pretty much genius. It says that I have the right to be me. And you have the right to be you. And we both have the right to express ourselves. (They even included the notion of “checks and balances” so that minorities – who would always be out-voted by the majority -- still stood a chance in the political/legislative arena.)
It ain’t wrong. Expressing yourself. Being your true self – as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else – is never wrong. Heck, it’s what we cheer about in movies and fairy tales and all those tear-jerking stories on Barbra Walters’ specials: People – against all odds – being true to themselves.
So if I want to dress like a girl. Or a monkey. Or a comic book hero. Or a fire hydrant. I have the right to do so. I also have to accept that unconventional dressing may have an adverse affect on my employment prospects and romantic relationships, but that’s the risk I take. And in the case of the fire hydrant, I guess I’d run the risk of getting pissed on as well. But if I want to take that risk, it’s my business. It’s my right. And it is right. It isn’t wrong.
But since I’m kind of on a roll, here some things that, in my humble opinion, are just wrong:
It’s just wrong to tell someone else how to express their gender.
It’s just wrong to limit freedoms granted by the Constitution.
It’s just wrong to demote, limit, or fire a capable, experienced employee because he or she does not conform to your idea of gender. (And it’s just wrong not to hire a qualified candidate because he or she does not conform to your idea of gender.)
It’s just wrong to tell a child that he or she has to act a certain way because of their body’s sex organs.
It’s just wrong to tell someone who they can or cannot love -- or who they can or cannot marry.
It’s just wrong to allow crimes – especially violent crimes -- against transgendered people to go unsolved because you regard them as second class citizens.
It’s just wrong to consider any group “second class citizens.”
It’s just wrong to sit in the secure anonymity of the online world and make hateful comments about others that you will never have to answer for.
It’s just wrong to use religious arguments in speaking with people who may not subscribe to your religious views or to any religious views.
It’s just wrong to think you’re always right.
It’s just wrong to tell school kids they have to endure bullying – that it’s just part of growing up.
It’s just wrong to drive a child (or an adult, for that matter) to suicide because you don’t happen to understand the way they choose to live their life.
It’s just wrong to publish unfounded stories about celebrities cross dressing when you (a) know you’re just spreading hearsay, and (b) treat cross dressing like a crime akin to serial killing or child molestation.
It’s just wrong to deny a good father or grandfather access to his kids or grandkids because he has begun expressing his feminine side.
It’s just wrong to stop trying to make a relationship work because the person you once loved deeply is now changing.
I could go on and on. But here’s one last one that no one should ever have to say:
It’s just wrong to beat a 17 month old boy to death because “I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/what-it-says-about-us-whe_b_671373.html)
Sadly, that last point shows just how far America needs to go to get educated about transgender lives and transgender issues.
This isn’t to say that we transgender folk are never wrong. We’re wrong a lot. And, in a way, we have the right to be wrong. To make mistakes. To screw up our lives. And unfortunately many of us will. But it least it will be our decision. Our choice.
The truth is, all of those who oppose us also have the right to speak out. That’s part of those freedoms the founding fathers established. So if I want to be free to act and speak as I wish, I have to be ready to endure the commentary and actions of those who oppose me. All I’m saying is, if you’re a wife or a girlfriend or a parent or a priest or a teacher or a politician or television personality or a schoolyard bully, you better have a better argument than, “It’s just wrong.” Because if that’s all you’ve got then you should start re-evaluating your stance, reconsidering your position, or maybe start looking for another issue to debate altogether. Because in the long run, if logic prevails, you’re never going to win this one.
Oh, and one last thought about those founding fathers. As I said above, I’ll never try to project back 200 years to guess at what they truly “intended.” But I do know this. In every illustration I’ve ever seen of them… the founding fathers were all wearing heels, stockings, and big fluffy wigs.
And if that outfit was good enough for Thomas F’n Jefferson, then it’s damn sure good enough for me!
Take care out there!
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy!