Archive for Sunday, July 5, 2009

Couple speak out on transgender issues

Lawrence couple Jessica and Jay Pryor have a laugh after dinner Tuesday on the back porch of their Lawrence home. Jay, who is a female-to-male transsexual, left Kansas 10 years ago as a woman who had fought for sexual orientation to be added to the city’s anti-discrimination policy. Now Jay is back in Lawrence speaking out as a transsexual fighting for gender identity status to be added to the city’s policy.

Lawrence couple Jessica and Jay Pryor have a laugh after dinner Tuesday on the back porch of their Lawrence home. Jay, who is a female-to-male transsexual, left Kansas 10 years ago as a woman who had fought for sexual orientation to be added to the city’s anti-discrimination policy. Now Jay is back in Lawrence speaking out as a transsexual fighting for gender identity status to be added to the city’s policy.

July 5, 2009

City anti-discrimination policy

l The Kansas Equality Coalition asked the Lawrence City Commission in May to add gender identity status to the anti-discrimination policy.

l Including gender identity in the policy would provide protections against discrimination for those who identify with a gender other than the one they were born with. The current policy includes sexual orientation, along with the federally protected categories such as age and race.

l The City Commission asked the city’s Human Relations Committee to study the proposal and make recommendations about possible changes.

l The Human Relations Committee will speak publicly about the proposal at its Aug. 19 meeting. No timeline was given for when the committee will make their recommendations to the City Commission, which would need to vote on any changes.

A lot has changed for Jay Pryor between the time he moved from Lawrence in 1999 until moving back in 2007.

For starters, in 1999 Jay Pryor was a woman named Janet Pryor finishing up her bachelor’s degree in communications studies at Kansas University.

In his eight years away from Lawrence, Jay was living in Washington, D.C., making the transition from a woman to a man. It’s a process that included spending a year living and presenting himself as a man, beginning hormone treatments, and eventually leading to body-altering surgery.

And while his gender has changed, what has remained constant has been his desire to speak out and educate those in the community about issues involving sexual orientation and gender identity.

When Pryor was a student at KU, he was a lesbian featured in the documentary “Shades of Gray,” which chronicled the successful fight in Lawrence to add sexual orientation to the city’s anti-discrimination policy.

Pryor is now advocating for the city to add gender identity status to its anti-discrimination policy. Adding such a category to the city’s policy would provide protections against discrimination based on gender identity in the same ways that other categories such as race and age are protected.

Out in public

Pryor said that he was initially apprehensive about speaking out publicly regarding his transgender status.

“I’m scared,” said Pryor, whose concerns range from discrimination to the possibility of violence against him by those who don’t understand him.

It’s a situation that he said can be very uncomfortable for people who first hear about his transition from a woman to a man.

“People get confused sometimes,” said Pryor, who works as a business consultant and part-time as a life coach. “I try to give people space for the weird aspect of it.”

Acceptance from his friends and family has taken time, said Jessica Pryor, Jay’s wife. The couple married in Virginia in 2003, though the marriage is not recognized in Kansas because Jay is still legally considered a woman in the state.

“It’s outside of what most of us have thought about,” said Jessica, who met Jay while he was transitioning to a man.

But with time, the Pryors said most of the people in their life have come to accept the changes Jay has made.

For Jay’s sister, Lawrence resident Kathy Pryor, the changes took time to settle in.

“For any family member, it’s a process you go through,” said Kathy, who worried she was losing a sister. “But I actually have a brother and a sister (now).”

From her experiences with Jay, Kathy has herself become an advocate for transgender rights. Kathy advocates for changes to the city’s anti-discrimination policy as a board member of both the Kansas Equality Coalition and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to believing such a change would promote equality in Lawrence, Kathy said that signifying to the state that Lawrence is a safe place for transgender persons makes financial sense as well.

“It’s an economic development issue,” said Kathy, explaining that the city’s businesses will benefit if transgender persons know Lawrence is a safe place for them to do business.

Despite the risks, Jay said he will continue speaking out about equal rights for transgender persons. And in addition to possible changes to the city’s policy, he said his goal is to make the community a safer place for the younger generation of residents struggling with their gender identity.

Pryor said he’s encouraged by an emerging support network for transgender people in Lawrence.

“Creating Lawrence as a safe place for all people is just the right thing to do,” he said. “We’re talking about the safety of people.”

Comments

KS 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh good grief. Lawerence continues it's tradition of being, well....?????

Dan Eyler 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

christy kennedy 5 years, 8 months ago

Narrow mindedness and ignorance come in many forms as well, KSfaithful. This indivudual and MJ are apples and oranges.

Alia Ahmed 5 years, 8 months ago

Not an easy step to take to go through this transformation and not an easy step to come "out" and I'm sure a difficult transition for the family. I'm glad Jay has such a supportive sister.

outtatowntownie 5 years, 8 months ago

Am I mentally ill because I have tattoos? I mean, I've been "altered".

I'm a run-of-the-mill lesbian. I don't claim to understand transgender issues fully, though I've probably had more experience with transgendered individuals than the average Lawrencian. There is a part of me that is still a little weirded out by the concept... I don't see myself ever able to date a woman that had once been a man (or vice-versa). However, I recognize that as my own prejudice.

There is no way that I, or anyone posting here, can know what it is to be transgender (unless, of course, you are). To claim that all transgendered people that undergo surgery are automatically mentally ill is a generalization that cannot apply to everyone that undergoes the process. Mind you, I believe there are people that seek out these surgeries that are mentally ill - however, there are generally a battery of psychological tests that one must go through in order to qualify for sexual reassignment surgery. From my understanding, the doctors try hard to screen out the individuals that need to work on their heads before they worry about their bodies.

Honestly, I wish the same tests were given to people that are seeking radical cosmetic surgery. I think Michael Jackson may have benefited from some extensive therapy before he ever went under the knife.

I don't know if these activists are trying to get you to accept this as "normal" ( a word whose meaning changes from person to person, in any case), as much as they are trying to make sure that they are not harassed or discriminated against for not adhering to society's version of what normal is.

Remember, interracial marriage used to be extremely out of the norm, as well. We needed laws changed then to protect the people that found happiness in that bit of non-conformity. I don't see much difference here - trying to make sure that people can be happy as they see fit, so long as it's not hurting anyone.

tanisha1 5 years, 8 months ago

Those who know Jay think he is great! We, as civilized people, have a responsibility to attempt to understand those we initially see as "different. " This seems like a much more humane practice than immediately jumping to hateful conclusions. We all want to be accepted for who we are. Bravo to Jay, Jessica, and Kathy for advocating for equality for ALL people! We only make Lawrence a better place when we show that we care for people who are too easily targeted in larger society. Lawrence can and SHOULD BE an example of a community in which acceptance and support are primary. Let's not get mired in misunderstandings, but rather celebrate what there is to learn from the diverse members of our community!

ebyrdstarr 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't know Jay or Jessica, but I think they're great for publicly discussing their experiences with transgender issues.

Janet Lowther 5 years, 8 months ago

Transgender people do tend to suffer from high levels of depression and and anxiety, but that is in large part on account of the dissonance between their bodies and minds.

Once the dissonance has been resolved, they are much better, though there can be persistent issues on account of having been forced, sometimes violently, into roles they do not fit for decades.

nytg 5 years, 8 months ago

This guy is really brave; I can't imagine returning to Kansas as you have. You're younger than me (I'm 56) but things are still just in the beginning for transgender acceptance. I left North Carolina when I was 26 to live in New York so I'd feel more accepted. But, I miss a lot of what NC has to offer and I think they missed a lot in not knowing me better. It's virtually impossible to explain being transgender to someone who is not -- even transgender people often can't explain it. The only way is for someone to imagine they wake up one day, and have everyone always puts them in the wrong gender category everywhere they go and live like that -- that's pretty hard to do. I hope the family stays safe -- transgender people do stir up a lot of hate from people, but it is probably as safe there as anywhere nowadays. Best wishes to him, and if people give you a chance they will find you are an even better person than you were before you left because you are more content and healthy.

thewayiseeit 5 years, 8 months ago

I think I will ask to have republican and conservative added to the list of reasons people can not discriminate against others. They are a minority in Lawrence and people pick on them.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

(No offense to individuals, but) gender is rooted in the genes, not in the genitalia however "reconfigured." Everything else is just "dress up," from attire to cultural gender stereotyping. Surgery is in a direction opposite that of gender understanding, and it is amazing that the medical community ever got onboard with this nonsense (IMHO). What next... transspecies surgical reassignment for all those canines and felines trapped in human bodies?

mzmartipants 5 years, 8 months ago

Tangential, you're wrong. Take out your dictionary and look up the definition of gender and then sex. Gender and sex aren't the same thing. Secondly, your talk about genitalia strictly limits sex to genes? You should school yourself by looking up "BST" and "transsexual" on Google before spouting opinions that are based on ignorance.

The medical community is "on board" because the surgery is an effective treatment for GID.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

mzmartipants, My reference was to "understanding;" yours was to "treatment." I perceive ignorance, you diagnose a malady. Perhaps you could "unschool" yourself by looking up "medical model" and then stepping outside the operating room.

mrf 5 years, 8 months ago

I love that the advertisement on the right side of the screen was for dating shemales. Very classy.

davidnta 5 years, 8 months ago

mzmartipants and tangential - you both have understanding of it on some level and it's interesting to hear both of your take on it.

I consider gender to be performative and a social construct, and I don't even believe in the binary of sex anymore. What's important is that all people should be protected and respected regardless of sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression. Jay and Jessica are both great people and wonderful family members.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Long predating surgical gender reassignment, the ascription of what it means to be male or female to a handful of superficial secondary, tertiary, and even derived sexual traits has persisted as a shortfall in human understanding.

Surgical techniques, on the other hand, are apparently quite well developed. Bring on the scalpel!

appleaday 5 years, 8 months ago

tangential: What would you say about babies born with ambiguous genitalia?

Julia Rose-Weston 5 years, 8 months ago

I was afraid to look at the postings but I was pleasantly surprised to find almost all support! I knew Janet Pryor, I have not had the opportunity to meet Jay. I'm glad you're back in town and that you continue to stand up for what you believe in!

Kris_H 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad they both feel free to speak out and I wish them the best. To each her or his own, indeed.

Those ads? They are Google ads...checked with right-click and properties.

Probably doing the same thing Google does in Gmail where it looks at the text of your mail and serves up a sidebar of ads it thinks you might be interested in.

It can have amusing consequences at times...but "shemales?" That's kinda tacky even for Google...:D

wordgenie8 5 years, 8 months ago

I always admire those rare persons like Jay who have the courage to be themselves in the face of unjust social backlash. It was hard enough to grow up (silently, almost never with the blatant, open-mouthed mistreatment that happens around KU and Lawrence) doubly discriminated against in Colorado; in places like MO and KS the level of prejudice and disrespect seems almost unique in its cruelty and inhumanity. You 're often also expected by many to be willing to offer to any random Jane or Joe on the street a detailed rundown and explanation of your differences too or submit to the same via a media analysis. Simply minding their own business seems to occur to very few. Sometimes it would be nice if people could just learn to honor and celebrate the mystery of diverse human life forms and not display such an obsessive need to label and pigeonhole everyone.

Dan Eyler 5 years, 8 months ago

Is there any limit to behavior or relationships that are unacceptable to society and won't have some form of protection behind it. Transgender is certainly a personal decision nothing more. You were born male or female so changing this is simply a decision to attempt to change this. So the way I understand this is any personal decisions we make society is required to accept. Seems the movement today is to somehow tie our decisions to the argument that we were born gay or black or white or disabled so therefore our decisions we make are now a right. I really think the fact that gays support this argument of transgender is because they too want it both ways; whether it be a decision to be or as most gays want to argue, are born that way. And then you have the nerve to wrap it up in the black civil rights movement where clearly there is absolutely no argument that blacks are who they are with no decision tied to it and they were discriminated for being something they cannot change and nor would they.

Steve Jacob 5 years, 8 months ago

Let me ask this question to any lesbians out there? Is this the easy way out, turning into a man? If it's your argument your born gay, is this a convent way out of it? If it is, I'd be mad.

Just asking.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

kansasfaithful, what exactly do we as a society gain by ostracizing anyone? Why shouldn't individuals be protected if they aren't harming others?

outatowntownie - great, honest post.

Best of luck to Jay.

KS 5 years, 8 months ago

After reading the posts, I rest my case.

Russell Fryberger 5 years, 8 months ago

Sex change, born gay, you people are confused. Society has you all screwed up.

If this change over is going to become commonplace can we assume that an investment in "truck nuts" will pay off in the future?

sustainabilitysister 5 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Jay, Jessica and Kathy! You're all heroes! Thank you for educating the ignorant in our community. I am not using the term "ignorant" and meaning it demeaningly. It's simply true that a lot of people in our community do not think that people that are transgender are part of our community/culture. Thank you Journal World for this story. I hope there are more to come to lift the veil of ignorance in our community.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 8 months ago

"kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says… Is there any limit to behavior or relationships that are unacceptable to society and won't have some form of protection behind it. Transgender is certainly a personal decision nothing more. You were born male or female so changing this is simply a decision to attempt to change this.."

Maybe I can explain this a little. No one will really understand what's in the mind of a transgender, nor does someone will ever understand the feelings how another race. To change one's sex is a personal decision, just as a conjoint twin's decision to separate themselves (or their parents to make that decision). Using "genetic" as an argument is not strong anymore. Well, you can argue that you cannot modify the genetics of a conjoint twins, and you have to protect the genetics of races, and thus races cannot be inter-married. Transgenders are the minorities in our society, and it'll take a long time to understand them. It takes a lot of courage to take that step, to actually go through the surgery. This courage shows somehow they don't take this decision lightly, and thus what they said, are true. Other than respecting their rights, we have to recognize their position in our society. It's just how we tolerate some religious extremists in our society too, those who want to impose their bibles on our constitutions. What makes Christian's definition of marriage's definition more right than a Transgender's right to marry and coexist with all of us? We accept the interpretations of the words in bible as the "norm" as the majority states that it's the norm. But when you step out from the norm, like in other countries, it will not be the norm. My two cents.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

It would seem to me that, by the time an individual has begun to consider "gender reassignment" as an option, s/he has already begun to think of sexuality and -self in a rather constrained fashion.
The appropriate response, then, would seem be one which unconstrains or opens thought and possibility... in sharp contrast to that narrow corridor leading to the operating room.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says… You were born male or female so changing this is simply a decision to attempt to change this. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What about XXY or XYY for some examples of not really being born just male or female?

Dan Eyler 5 years, 8 months ago

Katara, they were born that way and in most cases a parent will decide how to handle that. So again do we provide rights for all decisions we make? Are there limits or not? Simply answer the question. If congress passes a hate bill that protects pedophiles are we really hating Pedophiles because we demand they leave our kids alone, we protect our kids from them in any way necessary. The two in the article are not pedophiles and nor do I categorize them as such. But they re making a decision that deserves no more protection under the current laws than those that protect the individual rights of my grandmother.

George_Braziller 5 years, 8 months ago

kansasfaithful - Did you really read what you wrote before you posted? You're contradicting every single one of your own statements in the same paragraph.

kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says… Katara, they were born that way and in most cases a parent will decide how to handle that. So again do we provide rights for all decisions we make? Are there limits or not? Simply answer the question. If congress passes a hate bill that protects pedophiles are we really hating Pedophiles because we demand they leave our kids alone, we protect our kids from them in any way necessary. The two in the article are not pedophiles and nor do I categorize them as such. But they re making a decision that deserves no more protection under the current laws than those that protect the individual rights of my grandmother.

Larry 5 years, 8 months ago

Careful waka1..If the liberals find out who you are, (for your disagreement) you will either get audited (aka Joe the Plumber) or you and your kids (if applicable) will get ridicule and harassed (aka Governor Palin). It is wrong to disagree in a communist state....or should I say liberal state. SAME THING!!!!!

Paul Decelles 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually Kansasfaithful in many states a person can be fired for activities such as cross dressing let alone do any sort of surgery....so all the transgendered want is the same sort of individual rights and protections that your grandmother has.

Unfortunately in many states they don't get that, Kansas is one of them.

Its great that the LJWorld has seen fit to cover this issue in a respectful sort of way. Now if they can do something about Google's stupid ads which do nothing but perpetuate stereotypes about the transgendered...

Dan Eyler 5 years, 8 months ago

If a man show up dressed as a woman at work I hope he is immedietly sent to manditory psych counceling at his own expense. If he repeats it he should be fired. If he wants to dress in womens clothes that is fine outside of work. Common sense tells us that men don't dress like women at work and expect everthing to be okay with the other staff. This behavior while at work should not be tolerated. Now again should we provide rights to people who make decisions to surgically change their sex as well as create a whole new protected status for these individuals simply because they don't think society will accept their decisions. The reason you cannot answer anything else other than no is because it defies any form of common sense. What other personal decisions do you think deserve protected status?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 8 months ago

To me it seems that some people won't accept that others don't like them, don't understand them, and are not going to. They fall back on phrases like, they are uncomfortable with this, old and set in their ways, can't think outside the box. Remember the phrase, "if you've got it, then flaunt it!" Okay.

cutny 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey Jay and Jess, What up? Hope you two are liking Lawrence. Miss hanging out with you back in the Jose days of you visiting Brooklyn. Hope all is well.

Paul Decelles 5 years, 8 months ago

Kansasfaithful,

Actually I know two people who have transitioned where I work and two things are quite interesting. First of all they did go through psych counseling- quite extensive counseling that is part of the transitioning process.

Also they certainly did not expect everything to by OK with the rest of the staff- dealing with those issues was also part of their transitioning process.

Perhaps you are not aware of the broad latitude that employers have to fire people for non work related activities.

Gender Identity seems to me to be a central part of being human and perhaps is due the same sort of consideration as other aspects of our identity that are protected-ethnicity, religion etc.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says… Katara, they were born that way and in most cases a parent will decide how to handle that. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So it is okay for the parent to make the decision regarding what they feel the "true" gender of a child that is born with a chromosomal abnormality but it isn't okay for that person to correct the decision if the parent made the incorrect one? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says…

If a man show up dressed as a woman at work I hope he is immedietly sent to manditory psych counceling at his own expense. If he repeats it he should be fired. If he wants to dress in womens clothes that is fine outside of work. Common sense tells us that men don't dress like women at work and expect everthing to be okay with the other staff. This behavior while at work should not be tolerated. ~~~~~~~~~~~ So the issue with cross-dressing is a man dressing as a woman but a woman who dresses in a masculine way is a-okay by you?

Also what do you think about kilts? I really am curious as to what you think about those.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 8 months ago

"kansasfaithful (Anonymous) says… If a man show up dressed as a woman at work I hope he is immedietly sent to manditory psych counceling at his own expense."

I have nothing against you. However, it's like being overweight, and handicapped... and asking them to pay for all the additional services, like special parking, handicapped parking, pre-boarding etc... no one chose to be overweight... you simply ate too much, and there are many chronic cases of handicap and overweight... so shall we all remove the American Disability Act? If you assume this, I think you are also suggesting that ADA should be removed... am I right?

BigPrune 5 years, 8 months ago

A lesbian who would rather be a man so he/she has a sex change......it all sounds quite kooky doesn't it? After all, don't lesbians hate men?

But the shock factor definitely came into play here, by this article. Why must everything be about getting attention - thus the article?

tukie2kie 5 years, 8 months ago

BigPrune, you are being very stereotypical and are mixing things up.

Its a stereotype that lesbians hate men- and obviously not all lesbians want to become a man. Sexuality and gender are different things.

The only reason any attention is being sought here is to make changes- to get rights etc... read the article.

Its not simply about someone who has become a man.

Kris_H 5 years, 8 months ago

Kansasfaithful does raise a good question, albeit in a bigoted and somewhat ignorant way.

Where is the line that society has to draw against personal behaviors?

For me, that line is "no harm, no foul."

I cannot see how someone else choosing to cross-dress or alter their body to fit their perception of who they are does any harm to anyone, including you, kansasfaithful.

I don't know what you are faithful to, but whatever it is, that's fine for you. You don't have the right you are apparently trying to assume to make your rules apply to everyone else, though.

And your implicit comparison of transgendered people to pedophiles is odious.

NYHAwk 5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks to the JW for running this thought provoking article on transgendered rights. I am particularly proud of my sister Kathy and brother Jay and his wife Jessica for the leadership they have shown on this important issue. I have always felt it was my duty to accept my siblings at face value and support the choices they made. With his charming, engaging and straight-forward approach to life’s little challenges, Jay has always made acceptance easy. Best to my Lawrence family. I was just there two weeks ago and I already miss it. — Tim Pryor.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

kansasfaithful,

A few spelling corrections:

immediately, mandatory, counseling, women's clothes

Now to your point:

I think the other way to look at this is to ask what rights are fundamental, and when does society have the right to deny those rights to certain groups of people?

familymember 5 years, 8 months ago

Because of the nature of this topic, I feel most people are very uncomfortable with what has been said/written about the transgendering. I have a family member that has gone through the surgery and all of the above. First let me say that this sister was born when I was 13 years old. I was her primary caregiver. From birth, she never liked anything related to female standards. As an infant, if put in a dress she would cry. She would never allow me or anyone to put bows or ribbons in her hair. As a toddler she only wore pants/shorts and only played with typical male toys. Our parents sent her to private school because at that time "girls" were required to wear dresses to school and at a private school she could wear pants under her dress. Always, she was different. Very bright student, had alot of friends, very athletic. We always knew she was different, but loved and embraced regardless. She went away to college to hide what we already knew. After college moved out of state. Long story short she has now become a he through transgendering. He is now at peace with himself. I cannot imagine the pain of feeling uncomfortable in your own body. As a 40 something year old person, this was not taken lightly. A colleague of mine helped me think through this change. She said "We work with children with all sorts of disabilities. They have anomalies from birth, so why can't your sister have an anomaliy with male brain and female genitalia?" A light bulb went off!!!!! I have never thought about it in those terms. I am a Christian and I do not believe God makes mistakes, but because of sin things happen. I believe this is one of those things and I now know that my brother is happy and although there are still many challenges ahead of him, I pray, he can have a happy and full life being what he feels is his true gender.

vegasgrrl24 5 years, 8 months ago

Jay & Jessica,

I love you both so much. So proud of you for doing this article!

Danyel

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

So... when exactly did self-actualization become dependent on medical procedures?

( "Is she or isn't he? Only her surgeon knows for sure." )

familymember 5 years, 8 months ago

FYI, they use the restroom of the gender they represent externally. There is another transgender person that went from male to female and she used the female restroom and sat down just like the rest of us. I have to admit, I did feel uncomfortable knowing this, but no one else did because she looked the part. They want to be what they represent.

familymember 5 years, 8 months ago

none2, It was never stated that my mother sinned. You are correct that things just happen and it is no ones fault. That is what I was stating about the anomaliy of birth. Just as the children I work with have only one arm, blind etc......

KUnlv13 5 years, 8 months ago

If anyone with appropriate experience or insight could please address my question it would be appreciated:

To preface, I bartend at a high volume nightclub in Las Vegas on the weekends to assist in paying for my graduate school, and as you can imagine I encounter every sort of individual from around the world on a regular basis. Often I notice (following bartender/patron interaction...) individuals that have undergone transition (both m2f & f2m) courting individuals that seemingly have not. Not an issue or my business whatsoever, except that instances have occurred in which the non-transgendered has been highly intoxicated and potentially unaware.

My question: Is there an etiquette regarding disclosure in situations such as this? Fellow bartenders have joked of 'giving the straight guy/girl a heads-up'...I've just always been concerned that a physical altercation could be very likely to occur upon disclosure later, say, in the hotel room. One might then pose the argument that a transgendered individual is guilty of putting oneself in a potentially harmful situation by not disclosing immediately after initial courtship sparks begin to fly.
Thoughtful commentary appreciated, interesting article LJW.

SnowSage 5 years, 8 months ago

I am transsexual, I have been all of my life. 60 years and counting. Back when I was three I told my parents for the first time that I was a girl even though they had called me a boy from the moment the doctor smacked my bottom. He and they had made a mistake. I am a Lutheran pastor and I know that God doesn't make mistakes. But I also know that there are all sorts of folks that are not the traditional male or female sexes that the fundamentalists insist are the only ones allowed. Some of us are the result of mixed up genetics like the XXY or the mosaic boys, girls and inter-sexed. Some of us, like me a DES son, are the result of a drug or hormones administered in good faith by doctors who had no idea that such drugs were artificial super estrogens or androgens. Some of us, like Jamie Lee Curtis, are born because our bodies do not register the presence of important sex determinate hormones and some are here for reasons yet undiscovered. We are here, however, and all the protests that it should not be so do not make the least bit of difference. We are human and we are God's creation. Back in the fifties and sixties, the doctors were convinced that children like me were pre-homosexuals. They did some really terrible things to change us. I was beaten, behavior modified, shunned by peers and teachers, crucified to the floor, electroshocked, filled full of drugs and raped. Many of my transsexual brothers and sisters had much worse done to them. Quite a few of us did not survive, we were killed or committed suicide. But it was all done to us for our own good. Unfortunately, for those believing in an only two sexed world, none of us were cured. Every advocate of a cure has been proven wrong or fraudulent. The majority of the medical community has now come to believe that those standing on the edges of gender, are there because of physical and not mental reasons. Hundreds of studies have failed to link homosexuality or transsexualism with mental illness. The doctors know now that there is nothing wrong with a transsexual's mind, most of us are two statical levels more creative and intelligent than the average. The coming new edition of the manual used by mental health professionals will drop us from the listings just as homosexuality was dropped in the editions after 1990.

Jeffatplay 5 years, 8 months ago

I met Jay while living in Arlington Virginia, and have always known him as a man- a very good man. As a life coach (and a very good one at that) he has contributed much to the lives of others, and Jay and Jessica have hundreds of friends in the area because they're so loving. They are very much loved and missed.

The issue of sex changes is an emotional one, for all of us, because gender is a large part of our self concept- and therefore a scary thing for most of us to consider as not "black and white," or not "set in stone." I'm very glad to see this discussion is compassionate.

My best to you Jay and Jessica, and thanks to all posters who are adding their experiences and thoughts to the discussion.

kansas_o_kansas 5 years, 8 months ago

Jay and Jessica may be the bravest people I know..

But that Jamie Lee Curtis thing is a myth....

femmefatale 5 years ago

Jay is a Wonderful man! He is my life coach and a friend! Jay you inspire me to be the person I came here to be! Thank You for You!

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