Welcome back, everyone! Last week, I (along with many readers/friends) interviewed my lovely new friend, Megan. Megan is a pre-transition transgender person (born in a male body but with the identity of a female). Last week, she greatly educated my readers, some readers from the wonderful Janie Junebug, and even had some of her own readers stop by to say hello.
Like last week, I'm going to ask that you refer to Megan as a female and with feminine pronouns because that is how she identifies. She is a friend and a guest here so, as always, I demand the utmost respect for her. Should you leave any hateful or rude comments, I will use them as an example in my next post about cyber bullying.
I would like to thank everyone for the huge amount of love, support, and kindness that was sent out last week. I sincerely thank everyone for extending the love to me, but I do also insist that it all goes to Megan and others in the LGBTQ+ community because I simply offered a small platform for her to speak out. It's entirely her story and she's the one who should be feeling all of the love here (as well as anyone else in the LGBTQ+ community).
Please check out Megan's website here, her Twitter @StormsMayCome, or email your love and support to Megan@FinallyMegan.com. Please see the bottom of the post for sources and links to people who are fully equipped to help anyone in need.
Before I begin this post, I wanted first to thank each and every one of you who submitted questions and/or took the time to post a comment. It truly means so much to me to be able to share my story and to answer questions. As a Trans Advocate I think it is so important to be able to educate people in a positive way. I also wanted to thank Rachel for being so wonderful to me, giving me this opportunity, and that of the Q&A post. I am blessed!
(Please note: I am writing this post from the perspective of a Transgender Person. I am in no way discriminating against any other LGBTQ+ group. I simply do not have much experience with what they specifically face and do not wish to speak out in fear of misrepresenting or misinforming anyone! Thank you!)
I grew up in a very conservative home. We were Christian and all I ever heard about the LGBTQ+ community was that they were gross, disgusting, and a total abomination in the sight of God. I knew how I felt- I was a girl trapped in a male body, (I didn’t know anything about being Transgender at that point) and I was terrified of what my family would say to me if they found out. Obviously if that community was disgusting or revolting in the sight of God, then I had to be too, right?
I tried so hard to be “normal”. I tried to be “manly”, I did everything that I could to change who I was, but inside, I was so depressed. I knew I was different, I knew that I was nothing like the boys I was hanging out with. I still liked girls… so what did that mean? Was my mind just messed up? What would happen if my “terrible” secret was discovered?
Growing up with the belief that you're somehow broken or disgusting was terrible is and I am not saying that only for myself. So many people go through life thinking that exact same thing. According to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program “More than 50% of Transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.” An article from the Los Angeles Times also stated that “A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in their lives; nearly nine times the national average of 4.6%.” This is an alarming statistic. USA Today reported that Transgender people who are rejected by their families are even more likely to attempt suicide.
Ugh… I know- that sounded like a school report or something, right? I was depressed and suicidal for a time as well. My whole life was repugnant to the people I lived with and hung around, and they didn’t even know!
Here is my point: When people discover that someone is expecting a child, one of the first questions they ask them is “What do you hope it will be?” The answer I most often hear is, “It does not matter as long as it’s healthy.” It is a beautiful sentiment and is wonderful to hear! Truly, it doesn’t, or shouldn’t matter right? Why then, when that same child comes to their family and informs them that they are Transgender, do some parents reject them? If gender didn’t matter before they were born, why then should it matter afterwards?
As a Trans advocate, I try to use my experience to help others. I am not writing this as a “poor-pitiful-me” story, but rather as an object lesson of sorts. Acceptance is key. You do NOT have to agree. That is not the point at all, and I would NEVER tell you that you must. But you can accept. Love that person no matter what they are going through. You could change their entire life.
If you or somebody you know needs some love and support, please contact The Trevor Project who specializes in helping the LGBTQ+ community and crises prevention, To Write Love On Her Arms who specializes in mental illness and suicide awareness/prevention, or the Suicide Hotline who has councilors ready 24/7 for anyone in need.