The Transgendered Mile
by Laura Amato
Everyone who speaks in a certain language knows that certain words mean certain things. A "bowl for example is A hemispherical vessel, wider than it is deep, used for holding food or fluids. For most people this would be a satisfactory explanation on which most English speakers would agree. One who speaks the language therefore would have a repertoire of thousands of words which would mean the same thing to people using the same language. The description of each category of bowl would be on a sliding scale no more than a page in width. Glass bowls ceramic bowls, deep bowls etc.
In fact a sliding scale is a great means of describing everything from how things look to how peoples behavior differs from normal. We'd start at one point say normal in the middle and label each variation above or below that line from below normal to above normal. Most categories on most lines would fit the average width of your computer screen. Sliding scales are how we describe things to our satisfaction and understanding.
If we were to place a sliding scale on the subject of transgender people on this page and list every nuance and every variance it would take over a mile of computer monitors standing side by side to begin to go from one end to the other.
Of course we have many articles on Transgendered Folk all with various descriptions and even then it doesn't begin to capture a 10th of the phenomenon. You just can't see the whole thing unless you walk the Transgendered Mile, zoom way out with your lens. Only then can you begin to understand.
Its no wonder why we disagree, even among ourselves about all the details of this word Transgendered. Even the infamous HBIGDA Standards of care only take a very small bite of this huge line.
People need words and labels to understand and when they can't fit it onto one page the size of this screen they can't begin to see the whole picture. If you ask a non-trangendered person to describe what a transgendered person is they all will tell you something different.
They would say: "A transgendered person wears woman's cloths". "A transgendered person is a boy below and a woman up top". and any of dozens of descriptions. All of them different and all of them only partly right. Not one would say well "that's where a person feels they were born into the wrong gendered Body" Even if they did they'd still be only partially right. Don't even begin to tell them that there are women who are FTM (female to male on this scale as well as men MTF (male to female).
This is why I swore I would never get into this argument especially with those I'm on the same scale with. To try to describe all of the gender variant behaviors with one word (transgender) is next to impossible. I'd settle for just a few folks actually understanding it to some degree and not sounding like Jerry Springer.
Before for one describes "Crossdressing" one needs to understand what it is to "dress" in appropriate attire. Isn't it strange that with 6 million people on this planet that very few of us wear the same outfit on the same day at the same time that someone else does. That's a lot of variance. And they call Transgendered Folk deviant.
It wasn't that long ago that men's outfits were very effeminate, yet that was considered normal for the day. Did men really lose the desire to wear ruffles or was it the practical demands of pioneer life. Try building a house with ruffles on you sleeves or stoking the stove with corsets and a bustle. Welcome to blue collar life.
Walk the mile with those of us in the Transgendered spectrum, the "Transgendered Mile". Next the gender wars begin with: Crossdressing