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.