Saturday, July 21, 2007

I Love* You

Give me your unconditional love
the kind of love I deserve
the kind I want to return

That's the chorus of the Donna Summer song Unconditional Love. It's one of the things that next to respecting our constitutional rights, a desire to be loved by someone and having loyal friends in our lives that have our backs no matter what is one of the things at the top of our request list when it comes to our families.

Unconditional love. Sounds like a simple, straightforward, logical concept, right?

Not when you have a gender identity issues and you come out to your family about it.

It's irritating to see family members that are chronically unemployed, go to prison or have drug problems get more support than a transgender person who's clean and sober, successful in their careers and never seen the inside of a jail.

If there's anything that a transperson needs most, it's the support of their family when they're trying to negotiate the drama of dealing with a gender identity issue. If you're reading this and you're the lucky transperson that has the unconditional love and support of your family, congratulations. I ain't mad at ya.

Just remember to say prayers of thanks to God every night from now until the time you pass away for the situation you find yourself in. Some of your fellow transpeeps aren't so lucky. If they aren't rejected out of hand, then the situation that is just as bad is the support and love with conditions attached to it.

You may have parents who continue to call you by the wrong pronoun or the old male name despite the fact you've been transitioned for a decade or more. You find out about family reunions AFTER they've taken place or too late for you to rearrange the work schedule to attend. You may have situations where you're sent an invite to a wedding, but a few days before the event your relatives call you up and request that you don't wear a dress or heels to the event or insultingly ask you if it's possible for you to 'dress like a man'.

The ones that are really irritating are the relatives that say they support you, but start imposing their religious beliefs on you or are bold enough to tell you to your face that you'll never be a woman in their eyes.

If that sounds like you, stop it. Unconditional love means just what it says.
We need the validation of having our blood relatives acknowledge the person we've evolved into now, not the kid they remember ten to twenty years ago.

We transpeeps need that connection, that feeling of belonging, that desire to be recognized as a valued respected member of the family in our new gender role. It's something we need to help fortify our self-esteem. It's comforting to know that as we go out and deal with the slings and arrows hurled at us from a not too sympathetic and sometimes hostile world, our families love us unconditionally.

We transpeeps need to believe that come hell or high water our families be they our nuclear or extended ones, have our backs and are not finding excuses to place knives in our backs.

No comments: