In the March issue of Denver’s community magazine 5280, meet a local family that is raising a little girl born in the wrong body:

http://www.5280.com/issues/2008/0803/feature.php?pageID=1017

It’s a thoughtful, balanced, and well-researched piece, which is more than I can say for this piece of hurtful trash, also from the Denver community press, the GayZette Denver (reported on at Lynn Conway’s website):

http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/News/US/Gayzette%20defames%20trans%20child.html

Just when I think I have it tough, I read remarkable stories like these. She’s so strong and courageous at her early age — and I’m so fearful and cowardly and late-to-the-party that it’s hard to imagine we belong to the same gender spectrum.

Good Morning America did a segment about Megan Wallent, the Microsoft executive who recently transitioned from male to female. The comments on the story are pretty harsh, as is the commentary on the story by Newsbuster’s website, among others.

I myself am reminded of how blessed I am to have friends and family who are supportive, but I’m also curious, in light of these nasty letters and similar ones trashing Susan Stanton a year ago, whether my choices reveal me to be as egocentric and monstrous as the letter writers believe Wallent and Stanton to be.

As I wrote a month ago in “Trans-fer,” I think for some it’s an easy step from fear and hate of non-conforming others to eradication.

This past week, a middle-school kid, Lawrence King, was shot to death in Oxnard, California. Apparently gender-variant, he had been coming to school in high heels and makeup. Some of the boys at the school said it was starting to freak them out.

So he was eradicated.

Whether he was gay or transgendered doesn’t really matter. In an excellent op-ed piece in Salon.com a couple of months ago, Susan Stryker pointed out that violence against someone who’s “queer” is almost always going to be about how they act and dress, not what they do in the bedroom, and thus this violence is always about gender norms, not about sexuality.

It’s about conformity and how frightened, small-minded people strike out at those who do not conform. It’s also about those of us who are tolerant of difference–opinion, sex, politics, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, religion–and how we need to make it clear that a pluralistic society will not stand for this sort of intolerance, not just through lip service but through personal action. This personal action extends beyond lobbying for laws or expressing disapproval at intolerant people; I think we also have a responsibility to recognize the hate and fear in ourselves, to acknowledge that we are all racist and homophobic and xenophobic to a certain degree, and through that acknowledgment to vow to work on our own tolerance and understanding.

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