The times are changing. Not so long ago, I watched online as New York voted on same-sex marriage, and cheered for the many couples who would finally be allowed to married. Gay rights is everywhere these days. But I only have to remember back to when I was young, which wasn't all that long ago, to be reminded of a time when being gay was something that was never talked about, except in a derogatory manner.
And transgenders? Not a peep. I mean, why would anyone want to have a sex change? It must be something bad, if no-one will talk about it, right? Well, that's what I thought as a child. Not out of hatred towards transgendered people, but ignorance... because no-one was willing to discuss what it really meant.
I'm happy to say that since then my eyes have been opened. I have had the pleasure of knowing two incredible transgendered people. One you already know - Vic, The Dom. The other, a writer and friend, who I met through an online game, who we shall call G.
When G first came out to myself and others online, it was a little confusing. But as we talked about it, it began to make more sense in my mind. It took me a little time at first, to get used to using the right pronoun, but slowly the idea of a female G ceased to exist in my mind.
Then earlier this year I started talking to Vic, who I met through a Goodreads group. In my mind, Vic was always a he. Maybe because that's how he identified himself to me from the start, or because my mind was more open... I don't know. But what I do know is that this is an amazing person. Transgender, gay, dom... and whatever else, but Vic is still just the same as anyone else... a person capable of feeling hurt and sad, and a person deserving of so much love.
I knew Vic was going through some bad stuff, but when I read this post, I was almost in tears. And I don't cry. *laughs* No, really... I haven't for a very long time. Not when my Grandad died. Not even when my dog of thirteen years died a couple of years back. But this hurt to read. No-one should have to go through this. I couldn't believe that such a wonderful person could be made to feel so awful. It's wrong. So very wrong.
But there is hope. There are people out there who care very much, no matter who or what you are. Never forget that. And maybe one day, we'll live to see transgendered folk getting the same recognition and respect as any other person. I think we can do it... no, I know we can. And I honestly believe it comes down to information and education. If people will just start to listen and understand, and to teach their kids, or even themselves, about the many forms of love in this world, then things will get better.
And take a moment to remember the lives that have been lost, because of hatred and discrimination. Think of the lives that have been destroyed because a person just wanted to be themselves. And ask yourself, do you still want to be reading about these things in ten... twenty years? No? Then make your voice heard. Do something today to show your support for those who still struggle for acceptance. Even if you just share a picture on Facebook, let people know how you feel.
The more people that start to make an effort... the more people that show everyone around them that they don't care about whether a person started off life as a different gender, the more others will start to take notice. Because, guess what? It only takes one person to do something, before others start to follow. One person can make a difference, even if it is only to make another person's life a little bit better.