Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bisexuals & Transgendered People

I recently posted a video of a transvestite singer.  I posted it because I liked it and because I thought all of the disparate elements fused into an interesting whole.  However, I was reading a few days ago about Dan Savage being "glitterbombed" for his alleged attitudes towards transgendered people.  Like any (if you'll pardon the expression) heterogeneous group, there is a lot of division among homosexuals, as our diversity means we have more differences than we have things in common.  For example, some gays think we should have nothing to do with lesbians, and vice versa.  Some homosexuals believe bisexuality is some kind of cop out.  Some homosexuals believe we should distance ourselves from the transgendered.

As for my own attitudes, I believe human sexuality runs on a continuum, the much vaunted Kinsey scale, so I have no problem believing bisexuals are attracted to both sexes.  There are things about women I find physically beautiful, and I find attractive women attractive.  I just don't have any desire to engage in sexual acts with a woman.  But I see no reason to doubt that a person could be sexually interested in both genders, and I think that that should be respected.

I don't understand transsexualism.  But then I'm not a transsexual, so why should I expect to?  I can tell you that the only thing I find shocking is that, before spellcheck came along, I didn't realize it had two s's.  I have no right to invalidate the feelings of a person who has felt that they were born the wrong gender their entire lives.  That's the same as those heterosexuals who say they know my mind better than I do and that I wasn't born gay but chose to be this way because I'm a contrary attention-whore.  I do understand that there other transgendered people than transsexuals, by the way, but my attitude is the same.  God makes intersex people, so obviously He isn't too hung up on the concept of gender.

Self vs. Others

Of course, accepting people regardless of any perceived difference is part of a much larger issue.  You would be hard pressed finding a bigger clich√© than "Live and Let Live," and yet this core concept is sadly lacking in our fundamental concept of others, in our interpersonal interactions and in our social discourse as a whole.  As far as I'm concerned, there are two fundamental, inalienable laws of human relationships: (1) Treat others in the same way that you yourself would want to be treated. (The Golden Rule) and (2) If it isn't hurting anyone or anything, then it's none of your fucking business what someone else thinks, believes, says or does.  It doesn't matter if you don't approve.  It doesn't matter if you don't understand.  Live and let live.  Harm none and do as you will.  Let others live their lives however they see fit without your condemnation or your abuse or your violence.  I think 99% of our social problems would disappear overnight if people could simply let others be.

Yet it seems to be a basic compulsion in human nature that others must be converted to our way of thinking.  Religion is the obvious, glaring example.  But I've even seen it in something as personal as gay sexual habits.  While it may be news to a lot of the straights, a significant minority of gay men disdain penetrative sex.  Fine.  Sex is all about one's individual pleasures and comfort.  But there is an entire web site devoted to convincing all gay men that this kind of sex is the only "proper" sex acts that they should be engaging in!  Personally, I think it's a primal and pervasive ego defense.  If people really had the strength of their convictions, then it wouldn't matter if someone disagreed with them or saw the world differently from themselves.  If your religious faith is threatened because a Dan Brown book suggests that Jesus fathered a line of descendants, then you really need to take a long, hard look at your faith.  If everyone else has to share your opinion in order for that opinion to be validated, then you are doomed to a fruitless crusade and an invariably stunted relationship with others.

Now go forth, my minions, and spread my message of tolerance and peace!  And if anyone challenges that message, be sure to tell them that they're wrong.