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"We are One"

Okay, ruined might be a stretch.

All things considering, my life has had its moments. 

But I often wonder what life would have been like had I not seen the horror of how trans was presented on Jerry Springer. 

My Girlfriend is a Man! 

Those images of leopard clad, painted-faced transsexuals smacking their gum with their stop sign lips and throwing right hooks like George Foreman seared into my pre-teen mind in a very powerful way.  In a very negative way, too.

With whatever questions I was asking myself about the feelings I had swirling inside me, the one thing I was positive about was I was not one of them.  

Them, of course, being the Jerry Springer definition of transsexual.  

What if what I knew about being transgender had been inspired instead by someone like Jennifer Finney Boylan, Julia Serano, or Lana Wachowski?  Would I have accepted myself earlier?  Would I be living as my true self, going about my day to day life in the gender role my brain has yearned for since I can remember having thoughts? 

The question fascinates me.  I wonder what it might be like today to be a gender identity questioning twelve-year-old enlightened to the positive nature of their feelings – their very being – with the simple click of a mouse. 

If only I had the internet back when.  Certainly, it's not that easy.  It never is. I am, however, convinced it is easier

Sadly for me, my questions were anwered with a chair flying across a stage, hair extensions thrown into camera, and a bald bouncer inevitably tackling someone to the ground. 

The world’s come a long way. Mind you, not far enough, but I think there is progress.  This community still needs more role models.  We need those who will take the limelight from those Jerry Springer types and do something positive with it.  Ambassadors who will say to the new generations, “Be proud.  Live your life to its fullest potential.  Let nobody tear you down.”

They’re out there, emerging.  Blossoming. 


Maybe it’s you. 

If it is, for the love of toast, stay away from Jerry Springer’s show. 

Views: 524

Tags: DeepThoughts, JerrySpringer

Comment by Nicole Aime on March 3, 2012 at 11:48pm

My TV never gets turned on in the daytime.

Comment by Monica Lorraine Beaudry on March 4, 2012 at 2:33am

Stacy, I had the same problem as you. Jerry Springer is just a slut promoter. He finds anyone who as the bottom of the barrel and somehow gets them to show the world how pitiful they are. I bet it involves $. Jerry isn't the only enemy. You no doubt recall all of the schoolyard conversations about gays, girly boys etc. I somehow knew I was better, but still thought I was some sort of a freak until I met others on the internet and later a few in person. The best advice I can give is read profiles in here, the more the better and this link is well worth giving a good read and the many profiles in there.    http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TSsuccesses/TSsuccesses.html
You will find you are indeed part of a bunch of really cool exceptionally bright people. Don't worry at all about fitting in with one classification or another. Clasifications really are used in two ways,
#1 "Professionals like psychiatrists, therapists to give them some sort of reference on what they are dealing with,
#2 Other people including other TG's that think we are all the same and you should behave as they view themselves. A very myopic view and one that could be potentially damaging to others that don't fit. Some of these people will use their "classification" to elevate themselves above others and make others feel small and/or worthless.

You will find we all have a great deal of commonality, but in spite of that fact we are all wonderfully unique in how we view ourselves and express things.

Just be yourself take your time and enjoy this gift. Some view being TG a handy cap. I feel fortunate to be part of "the better sex". But that is just how I view myself. You may and have the right to feel differently.

Lotsa huggs and enjoy!  Monica

Comment by Traci O'Gara on March 4, 2012 at 5:37am

Before Springer, back when I was in my teens and twenties struggling mightily with myself, one could get tossed into jail for just wearing 2 or more articles of women's clothing, and that included shoes and socks if the cop wanted to harass you bad enough.  The only transexual I had ever heard of was Christine Jorgensen, probably the first well known m2F that had GRS "way back in the day"! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Jorgensen

But the scorn, ridicule, and hate tossed her way by parents, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, and every social group in the fabric of the country presented a huge obstacle to even think that I too might go that route.  Net result was I just hid myself deeper and deeper afraid to muster the courage to step up and live my life as me.  The criticisms made me think I was a freak, a pervert, a deviant, a total low life.  It was far too much to take on...that was the climate, the pulse of things back in the 50s, 60s, up to the mid-70s...

It did begin to"loosen up" in the 70s.  Andy Warhol and his stable of T girls that bridged the entire spectrum of the TG community began to show the world that this just might be more common than was thought.  For me, it was a godsend.  I lived just outside of NYC and would "sneak" into the city and make a "life" for myself there as there were many places where an attractive transexual could "fit in" and even thrive.  It was crazy fun with lots of sex, drugs, and rock and roll!  Gradually more and more girls came out and some were quite renown like Wendy Carlos (fabulous "Moog" synthesizer player and the tennis player, Rene Richards.  By the 80s, it was part of the "culture", still ostracized, but no longer punishable by jail unless you were maybe south of the Mason-Dixon line or in rural America.  Of course Springer capitalized on the "freakshow" and like yourself, probably scared about 98% of the younger girls into the closet!  Toss in the damned RLE requirement which made you live a year while looking like Fred Munster before you could get hormones to transition and it would be safe to say that any woman who transitioned back then ought to be nominated for sainthood!

So yes, your assessment of Springer and his negative stereotype set back so many, and that is prevalent even today.  Sadly, it is the image most get when the subject is mentioned.  Thank you Jerry...jerk!

Cool topic though Stacy!  Thanks!

Best wishes always..

Traci xoxo

Comment by Tomi Engelina Walker on March 4, 2012 at 9:05am

Sweetheart I can't understand why any transgender person would ever go on that nasty show . I know that no good will ever come from Jerry Springer and his show I have had the unpleasant oportunity to have met him at a restaurant one night he's a jerk at best .

Take care of you

Tomi

Comment by Jillian Munsell on March 4, 2012 at 2:50pm

Although I'm dating myself Stacy, I can clearly recall an episode on the Phil Donahue show where he had a transsexual woman as a guest for the entire show. She was stunning, articulate, funny and to me inspiring.

It too seared in my brain, as I was just so trans-fixed to every movement she made. She represented the community so well especially for those times. Mid 70s.I could not believe she was standing there before my eyes - a person who thought as I did. I was NOT alone!!

Phil Donahue was a pioneer in talk television and was doing what Oprah does - well before Oprah.  If you didn't know, he was married to Marlo Thomas "That Girl". 

Comment by Molly Vaughan on March 4, 2012 at 6:06pm

I think the internet really has altered the social understanding of the trans community.  I remember in undergrad sitting at a coffee shop with two older guys I hung out with, and one of them began to discuss a dress they had brought while out shopping with their wife.  I just listened but my mind was racing.  I had no idea that there were others like me that did not just exist on Monty Python or the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  This was in Savannah of all places during the height of the Raver years! How could I have been so blind.  One thing I can say from teaching this generation that has grown up with the internet (myspace in particular) is that they are able to comprehend identity on multiple levels, which isn't a coping skill I learnt as a kid, though I always had my male mask and female self.  I actually had friends who went on Jerry Springer as a joke and the show was fully aware of it.  I completely understand what you are saying though and I am happy that the younger generation will be able to have a more complete and positive understanding of the world as a whole.

Comment by Stacy Lane on March 5, 2012 at 8:14am

Excellent comments, all!   While "ruined" was a bit wink-wink, it is amazing how young minds are influenced by pop media, or media in general.  It seems that recently, every time I see something about trans on the, ahem, boob tube, it is cast in a fairly positive light.  *Mostly*  Like I said, there's room to grow, but i see it as encouraging for futur generations.

Comment by Sharon KathyJo on March 5, 2012 at 10:20pm

Yes, springer and the like did hinder my ability to understand myself...  I've watched it recently and I think that the trans people on there are drama class students playing at being transgender.  I mean, how many transwomen do you know who when asked "so, are you a man?" would actually answer: "Yep, I'm a man, and your man loves me!"  Of course this fuels the confusion for those of us who truly are trying to understand and figure ourselves out.

Happily the environment in the media now is much more supportive, accepting, and educational.  Things are far from perfect, but they are so much better than they were a couple decades ago!

Hugs!

   Sharon

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