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How We View Other Transgendered Folk

by Laura Amato

I was approving entries to my guestbook and I came across an entry which brought back a lot of memories. "I removed my Yahoo Messenger cause it seemed I was only meeting folks who either 1) thought THEY knew ALL the answers and if you did not fall into line with them.. Then you were a phony or 2) lived in a fantasy land world where the only". Wow did that entry hit close to home as I'm sure it will for many of us transfolk.

When I first Started Laura's Playground. I put an ad on some of the usenet groups. I received one reply which went something like this: "I can't see why any Transsexual would go public about their Transsexualism, yet alone start a website about it". Another girl answered the reply with; She's probably not serious. Just another Transsexual wanna be". All that from a simple ad. Why on earth would anyone want to be a transsexual? Who would choose this?

I actually started the site for two main reasons: First everytime I went to a search engine I was flooded with Sex Sites. Trying to pick out a Support Site was like looking for needles in a haystack. They were out there but it took some work. Yet they all claimed to be Transsexuals. I was always taught that being Transsexual wasn't about sex but about Gender. I didn't judge but I was frustrated with trying to find what I needed. Fortunately, Search Engines have improved a bit so its not quite as bad as it was.

Secondly I was on my own Journey of self-discovery and a Site was a perfect place to develop my thoughts. As I discovered solutions I wanted to share that with others.

I certainly don't have all the answers but very few do these days. Communication among ourselves is our best answer. What works? What doesn't? What haven't we tried yet? What are the alternatives if I don't want to try your solutions? These are the things we should be discussing.

However, when we do it often brings an angry response from one of our own kind. "You're not a 'True' Transsexual", or "Your just Transgendered" or "Your a 'non-op' so you're not a Transsexual or "you want to keep your male function, you're not one of us". All the fighting over labels is ridiculous. I've seen wars and bannings over these quotes. Why?

Noone can argue that as Trans Folk we are more sensitive then the average bear. We have confusion, fear and a secretive nature just for our own preservation. How can we not listen with compassion and understanding to each other? Who else is going to listen to us but ourselves?

Everyone is looking for another way. That doesn't make them Not what they say they are. Non-Ops have good reasons for choosing that option, least of all being ones health. If I'm prone to blood clots (even with blood thinners) does that make me not Transsexual? Does that make my pain any less? Of Course not. So why insult each other when we need each other more than ever.

Trans Folk are a diversified group. Of that there is no doubt. Yet we have so many similarities it is a shame to not recognize that. Personally I'd rather have a She-male as a friend who has the sensitivity and the compassion to listen to me then a transsexual who won't. The least she can expect is that I'll do the same. No one else is going to listen.

Everyone talks about the remember our dead list and we should. Yet few realize that our suicide list (if we could compile an accurate one) would have numbers off the charts. Enough people are added to that list without us adding to it, either directly or indirectly. Also in that list lets not forget our FTM Brothers. They've had their share as well.

Love each other, nurture each other. The life you save could be one of ours.