Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trystan's Letter To The Lowell Sun About The Chaz Bono Holiday Parody

TransGriot Note:  The Lowell Sun newspaper on December 19 posted a transphobic parody of 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer' with remixed lyrics slamming Chaz Bono and the just passed Massachusetts trans rights law.   Another one of my fave kick azz Massachusetts trans men, Trystan Dean, compiled a letter to the editor slamming their contribution to Hatin' On Transpeople for the Holidays.

Dear Editor,

   I'm writing in response to the recent parody you published that mocked Chaz Bono. It was mean-spirited, to say the least. Obviously, some of the folks working in your newsroom have sophomoric senses of humor and ought not be left unsupervised. Frankly, I think the person who published that parody ought to be fired. But hey, it's Christmas, so perhaps a little mercy, plus A LOT of education, would be more appropriate.

   Like Chaz, I am a transsexual man. I'm in the middle of my transition, hoping and praying for the means to medically complete the process. The necessary surgeries are expensive, painful, risky, and currently not easy to access, if you are not blessed with wealth, like Mr. Bono.

   However, for those of us suffering from gender dysphoria, and/or intersexed conditions, transition can save our lives. Gender dysphoria is a diagnosed condition, that is treated medically with therapy, hormones and surgery. Chaz was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, like me, then he was prescribed male hormones by a physician, like me, and, then, he underwent surgery.

   These are not steps that can be made easily or lightly. Gender transition from female to male can result in a shorter life span. Hormone therapy can stress the kidneys and liver. There is medical supervision every step of the way. Risks are clearly spelled out. It's a tough decision, and it's only made when a patient's life is at stake. Gender dysphoria can kill. It fuels debilitating depression, self-hatred, and self-destructive behaviors. It is a malady that can intensify as a person ages. It's much worse than simply feeling trapped in the wrong body. It's about bone-deep despair that saps the will to live.

   Transsexuals and transgender people are fighting for civil rights in our society, and throughout the world. Thankfully Massachusetts just passed a civil rights law. Among other things, it categorizes violence against trans people as a hate crime. This is important, because trans folks experience unacceptably high levels of murder, rape and assault among all measured minority communities. There has been a rash of trans murders in the last 2 years in Boston. The law just passed is not frivolous, and it didn't deserve to be parodied, along with Chaz, and by extension, all trans people. Like all other human beings, we deserve respect and compassion while we seek wholeness and  happiness in our lives. That is the American Dream. We'd just like the equal opportunity to fulfill our dreams too. I don't think that's too much to ask. Merry Christmas!

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