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My most profound apologies to gay, transexual, transgender DUers

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 01:55 PM
Original message
My most profound apologies to gay, transexual, transgender DUers
First off, forgive me if I use all the wrong words here. This is all new to me.

Today my workmate Steve came in dressed as a woman. I would like to report that except for a little 5:00 shadow he is a stunningly beautiful woman. But of course, it's a shock at first. What does one say, or do. Do I just ignore and call him Steve? We are "sortof" friends and tell each other a bit of personal information but this was totally unexpected. My prior expectation was that he is openly gay.

Appearantly our boss knew about this ahead. The boss came by and referred to Steve as Stephanie. My brain was about to explode. An hour ago Steve sit's with me in the cafeteria and tells me he's part male part female. He has female genitalia and a uterus. Well I don't want to get too graphic here...... the pain and agony he shared with me were astounding.

But here's the deal. I've always been on the fence about whether homosexuality, or transsexual, or bisexual or any of those "unnormal" things is chosen or genetic. Quite frankly it doesn't matter to me. Consenting adults don't need MY approval that's for darn sure. IMHO even if they chose it then who the heck cares. And quite frankly I've given the anti-gay people a wave off as being unbalanced nuts.

But the standard line in the anti-gay community is "they chose it so they can unchoose it". Well, how in sam hell does someone choose IN THE WOMB? How can you tell a person like this that "God made a mistake" -- NO ONE IS A "MISTAKE". For the first time in my life I am seeing the phenomenal pain that we are inflicting on people with all the "defense of marriage" business. It's NOT harmless. People are committing suicide even because of the message our society is giving them.

No one should go through life feeling they are nothing but a carnival side show. Everyone, EVERYONE deserves to have a sense of acceptance and love, no matter what "deformity" they are born with.

I want to apologize. I did already to Steve. But also to the world at large. For my failure to stand up to these bullies. These disgusting bullies in America who are tearing apart people's lives with their anti-gay agenda. I will never ever wave them off as harmless assholes again.
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LeftCoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. I don't think you need to apologize, but thank you anyway
I'm sure that Stephanie (formerly Steve) appreciates your open-mindedness and acceptance.

:hug:
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hey, thanks!
:hi:

That's a nice post. I agree with the other poster that you don't have to apologize, though. Continuing to be a an office friend to Stephanie, and using the name and identity that she requests that you use, is a wonderful way to put your beliefs into practice.

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. You are right.
I need to refer to "her" as Stephanie even away from "her". I hope eventually in my head it's not "she" and "her" but just plain she and her. That might take some time though.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
30. That's fine
I've been around a couple of similar situations and most people that I know will be able to tell that you're trying to come to terms with it. Most will realise that, although you're accepting and affirming of them as a person, this is kind of a big thing to take in and will take a little while to adjust to.

Kudos for having the guts to do a mea culpa too. Although the president seems not to understand the concept, it really does take more guts to admit you were wrong.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Your post is fine ...
just be understanding and supportive as you can be and all'll be cool.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. You have such a big heart, Rosemary2205.
:hug: I am sure that Stephanie is grateful to have a work mate who is as caring and understanding as you are. :hug: I know she'll appreciate you support.
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LilyLibber Donating Member (332 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thanks for posting that. K & R
Way to be open-minded and ready to stand up for your convictions. I, too, am sure that Stephaie appreciates having you as a friend in the office. :thumbsup:
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. It seems to me like you might have a good 'boss' too.
:hi:
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. he's incredible.
The man is what most people consider a self made billionaire and yet he still has personally met every single person who works for him and I think genuinely cares. There are people who work here that could probably make much more money someplace else but love the man too much to leave.
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. NIce post. k and r.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. You model compassion very well.
Compassion doesn't mean you don't experience confusion, and have to work through various issues.

What is important is that your heart is in the right place, and you are willing to listen, and to deal with any misconceptions you might have had.

Good for you for discussing it with Stephanie, and good for her to take the time to explain it, and good for your boss!

A very fine Holiday Story!

Blessings all around... :applause:
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Parche Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. God is love
It is probably hard for him also when those ignorant people rant
"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"

Those fundies make me ill, the likes of Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson etc, they are all evil
hate mongers.....

God is love, and people need to realize that
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. No apology needed.
Your words say it all. Thanks.
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hashibabba Donating Member (894 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
13. You're a very compassionate and loving person
Rosemary2205. That was really nice that you accept Stephanie for what she is and extended a hand of friendship. No need to apologize to us, I'm just glad you see that the anti-gay world is wrong about people.
Like the poster said, God is love. Not judging her but understanding her is the important thing.
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wryter2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
14. K&R n/t
n/t
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Bluebear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. No apology needed. I would have thought he would have prepared y'all
other than to just come in dressed as Stephanie all of a sudden, but what do I know. All the best to you, Stephanie, and all of us.
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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. Rosemary, you're part of the solution, not the problem for sure.
i'm not a christian, but from what i understand you exemplify the teachings of that jewish carpenter born some 2000 years ago. you certainly embody the *spirit* of christmas. thanks for that.
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Psychmd Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
17. God made Adam and Eve....
and Adam and Steve....
and Stephanie.
Each of us is created unique. It is society that wants to put people in boxes/ categories. No matter what you call Stephanie, She will be the same person you already liked and considered a friend. Just be a friend.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. Chosen OR genetic is a false choice in itself
The fact is that the determinants are complex, social, biological, and cultural. It's neither chosen nor genetic, but some extremely complex infolding of nature and culture and singularity. I suppose it's easier for people to understand "genetic" when you say "not chosen," but it's not genetic either. That's a helpful political illusion, and probably the best way to understand.
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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. Thanks, and Blessings To You This Holiday Season
Sometimes, all it takes is a little up close and personal illustration. Though some people will hate no matter what.

:hug:
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. Great post!
Thanks for sharing. :hi:
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
21. self delete
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 08:20 PM by Cronus Protagonist
:sarcasm:

It wasn't as funny in the thread...

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kdpeters Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
22. Apology accepted, but don't feel bad. Even us gay folk go through a similar process
Remember that you weren't always aware, but through someone else's patience and trust, you got here. We sometimes get impatient with others once we've found our way. Don't be too confrontational with homophobes who are otherwise decent people. I've found it to be much more effective to nudge rather than push. You'll be surprised at the people who eventually come full circle to total acceptance with patience and subtle challenges to think about.

It goes without saying that it does not apply to professional homophobes.
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IndyBob Donating Member (216 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Darn -
You beat me to the point I was going to make by one hour. Rosemary, your story is touching, and in my opinion as well you have nothing to apologize for.

I am a gay man, who first "came out" 15 years ago. I knew I "preferred men" long before this time, but basically remained celibate until the age of 28. I remember the first time I went to a gay bar, I parked 1/2 mile away, walked there, and had to wait 5 minutes for the streets to clear before I dashed in. Absolute paranoia.

When I got in, one of the first folks I spoke to was Kenny, who everyone referred to as Julie. He was quite effeminate. My initial reaction to Julie was discomfort, I had a problem with the "It's so GORGEOUS" and other gay mannerisms. As time went on, I got to know Julie much better as a person, he was one of the warmest and most decent people I ever met. We all work at overcoming our pre-conceived notions and baser instincts.

Rosemary, you appear to have started well ahead of a majority. Bless you for your message.
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
23. It sounds by your post like this person is intersex...
My sociology professor in college was one of the countries foremost experts on people who do not fit into either the male or female category, they may share some physical characteristics of a male and some with a female.

This is a very taboo subject in America, people do not want to acknowledge that things are far more complex than people being male or female.

There are far more people who share characteristics with both sexes than most people realize, in fact if you make think you are male or female but you could actually have physical charicteristics of the opposite sex and not even realize it. If you are a man have you ever been tested to see whether or not you have ovaries? If you are a woman have you ever been examined to see if you have undescended testicles? The fact is most of us do not really know whether we are truly male or female.

In Papa New Guinea there are actually a huge number of people who are neither male or female, no one is really sure why it is common in that part of the world but those who share characteristics of both sexes are actually up to in that society.

This is a topic people do need to talk about a lot more, because there is a lot of stigma in this society and by ignoring the issue it is not going to go away but people will continue to be afraid to express their identity.


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Maraya1969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. What is also not mentioned a lot is women get to cross dress all the time and no
one says anything. Women wear jeans and cowboy boots but God forbid a man wears a dress. I remember some friend joking with me about how I throw a ball like a boy and how I can punch, (I've had a few fights but that is behind me) like a man. It made me feel good. To switch that around would be an insult to many men.

And now you have me curious to know whether I have testicles that haven't dropped!
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
25. I've found TG people to be very understanding of the name problem
If you've known someone for a long time as Steve, switching to Stephanie and remembering to always say that can take some time. Eventually, she'll seem normal as Stephanie, who is probably going to cut you a lot of slack.
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ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
26. Tell Stephanie that a lot of us here on DU
understand, to a small degree at least, the hardship she faced being socially assigned to the wrong gender for most of her life. Give her our love and tell her of our respect and admiration for making this hard but important decision to openly be who she is. Her situation is not common, but it is as normal as being born any other way. Give your boss a "thank you" for his insight and integrity. And take another one for yourself.
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
28. I found out about this marvelous support organization for
Edited on Fri Dec-22-06 12:36 AM by Maat
intersexuals ... (during my work with PFLAG)...

http://www.isna.org / .

On edit: this is just for that type of situation. It was very educational reading about the various conditions, and how the individuals have successfully dealt with the situations.
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
29. Transformation...
...at the root of most of the great movies is personal transformation. I also happen to believe that transformation is why we are all here...

Good on ya, Rosemary, you sound like a wonderful person.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Personal Transformation.... would that we all....
Thanks for putting it into such a great perspective.....you're right...it's like many other things that we need to be flexible about.

Thanks. :thumbsup:
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
31. awesome. k&r
i Love it when peopLe wake up and get it. :bounce:
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
32. Many thanks
:hi:
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bigwillq Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
33. Terrific post.
Thank you for understanding. Thank you for taking the time to understand.
I am glad you were able to see a new perspective on things.

Enjoy the holidays. :hi: :hug:
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-22-06 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
35. I have a similar situation at work too
Not with someone I work closely with but with someone in another office that I see occasionally, someone who is undergoing the sex reassignment process.

My issue is not with this person but rather with MY colleagues who are a bunch of Neaderthal redneck ignorant hayseeds who cannot resist making ill-informed and assholish comments about our fellow colleague at this other office. I have tried to explain what little I know about transgendered issues but it only seems to elicit snickering. One of my coworkers said to me that they should fire this person (the transgendered person) because of the difficulty it is causing everyone else. Well that was too much for me. My only response to that was that people who have difficulty with the situation had better grow the fuck up and realize not everyone is like them.
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