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But What About the Children?

I must have just a tiny bit of masochist in me, because after reading the article about Tom Gabel of Against Me! coming out as transgender, I once again scrolled down to the comments treated myself to nice big helping of angry ignorance. I’ll tell you too, angry ignorance tastes nothing like chicken; try going a bit lower. It’s the same old same old, time and time again. The ‘junior science kit’ geneticists, mounted evangelical warriors atop the paper tiger of scripture, the people who decry ‘genital mutilation’ with such rabid frothing one has to speculate about an increased blood flow to their own genitals when they are thinking about it. So chock full of misspelled zingers that queen Palin herself must be blushing with embarrassment by the association. Maybe.

The only ones that succeeded in needling me, just a little bit, were those that castigate Laura (nee Tom) about the effect on her daughter. I’m already comfortable that the genes that triggered my gestational format one way instead of another have nothing to do with my identity. I found the paper tiger dissolves with a nice bucket of water, just like the Wicked Witch of the West. I don’t even need the bloody details of the corrective surgery I plan to have; the good doctors will do their thing and that is all I really care about. I do, however, have a 4 year old son who is the light of my world.

I think we can all agree, transition is no one hill marathon by a long shot. The biggest of these, which of course comes right after the starting line and is in fact in plain view from miles before we get there, is dealing with how this is going to affect our loved ones around us. The mere idea of it is generally enough to sustain our delusion for years that there is no race to begin with. Even so, the weight of its shadow is paralyzing, even asleep and a thousand miles away. Somehow though, we end up there. “How the hell did this happen? Yeah, this is really, really going to suck.”

I was hoping very much that the good I had done previously would help balance out the scales in admitting this tremendous wrong about myself. Still, I was prepared for heavy losses. I hoped not, but hey, you never really know how people are going to take it when you rip off the rubber mask and say, “Surprise! This has been the real me all along.” Friends, family, my mom, my spouse, and my son. My beautiful son. How could I take that risk?

The answer of course, and something the comment trogs can’t fathom, is that by acting I cemented my future with him. I chose to live. The old song says, better to burn out than fade away, but I say the hell with all that. I’m not going anywhere. Those who both love me and need me found it in their hearts to accept my transition, and he needs me most of all, so in my mind there really wasn’t any other choice. To those who think he’s going to need years of therapy because of this, I’m not so sure, but I am relatively certain that had I gone in any other direction he would have needed lots of it.

I think I’m going to stop already with the comments sections, well except for here where I only receive lovely responses. If I want confused hostility I’ll tune into Fox News or zap a wasps nest with the garden hose. For those who wring their hands in mock concern, ‘but what about the children’, well, my only advice is to go have some and do the very best you can. I am.

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