As Thomas F. Meagher famously stated, "Calling a mule a race horse
doesn't make it so."
""I didn't get any questions or hate or put-downs or anything like
that," said Barnett, now 18, adding that they called him Isaac immediately
— a drama-free coming-out that would have been extraordinary in schools a
decade ago."Our young generations are more and more sensitive to
diversity and more secure of themselves. We should be very proud!!
Transgender rights have long lagged behind gay rights: the first gender identity
non-discrimination law wasn't passed until 1993, while the first sexual
orientation anti-discrimination law was passed in 1973.Fortunately,
transgender awareness and protections are catching up: 18 states (plus D.C.) now
have gender identity protections in law, while 20 states and D.C. have sexual
orientation protections. It's a slow process: state by state, and sometimes
county by county and city by city.
I teach adult education for various healthcare technical fields. I always spend
part of one class talking about transgender issues and how to professionally
care for and work transgender patients. I have also presented to classes on the
topic at the Emory School of Nursing and at now here in Cleveland at the Case
Western Reserve School of Medicine. I am always gratified that
healthcare people, from future doctors to future phlebotomists, are eager to
learn about this group of patients and to learn how to interact with sensitivity
and appropriateness. I am so glad to see that schools are learning
how to treat trans students and are giving appropriate and safe space. These
kids will grow up well adjusted and happy, instead of feeling abused and
desperate and depressed. Hope for the future .
I don't get it. Some one explain it.
Thank you for running this story. I've recently begun learning about
transgender people and realizing how distressing it can be for those whose birth
body doesn't match their gender. I hope that if I ever interact with a
transgender person, I'll do it with as much grace and compassion as the
students at Isaac's school.
@George:This is not easy to understand. We think of
gender as a black and white thing based on genitals. Yet as far back as we have
records some people have claimed they should be in the other category. Not gay,
actually the other gender. Modern science and psychology have
recognized that "gender" is complex, that hormones and genetics and
neurological wiring play a part that is not always visible to the naked eye.
Some studies have done brain scans of Male-to-Female transgender people and
found their brain function is more like female than male in significant areas.
The studies have been small and are not conclusive, yet. The person
often says they are in the "wrong body," that certain parts they have
are wrong and other parts are missing. This is called "gender
dysphoria."Frequently, when these patients have the
"right" hormones and gender-confirming surgery they begin to function
better. Often their biggest problem is people who attack them for not following
gender rules. @JCS:Clever. Misses the reality real
people having real problems. Dismissive without seeking or helping
I dealt with a gender change issue as an HR Rep back in 1994 - 1995. We had
1,200 employees and the employee who underwent the gender change had no issues
with anyone. It was all handled in an adult way by all involved.The
only concern was what restroom the employee would use (the change was from male
to female). We solved it by giving the employee a key to the restroom in the
main lobby. We had two single-use restrooms and she used one of them.It seems to me that this would be a more difficult issue to deal with today.
People are a lot less accomodating on both sides of any issue now. We seem to
be more concerned with the demands for our own "rights" than the rights
of others. We are a far less "tolerant" society now that we talk about
"tolerance" so much....
All I can say is, thank goodness there are only two sexes.
Amazing how many groups of people, are trying to be understood.