Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Oh No You Didn't!

So this morning my wonderful and loving fiancé posted the image below to me on Facebook and invited me to get out my soapbox.  After reading the article on the image the challenge was accepted.

The picture is an advice column from a Christian website where a father is asking for advice about his son who came to him saying he was transgendered and felt that he was born in the wrong body and was actually gendered as female.  The father states that his child says they still believe in God in keeping with the family's obvious faith.  The father is asking for guidance in how to talk with his child.
The advice given by the columnist is not only ludicrous, it is downright dangerous.  She says the father should tell his child that the child is flat out wrong for feeling this way therefore totally invalidating the child's feelings.  She says that the father should tell the child that the child's thoughts and feelings are even "disgusting".  This is bad enough, but then she makes the leap from transgendered to homosexual.  I am not sure how that leap was made since not all transgendered people are actually homosexual.
She blames the kid's desires one homosexuality in the media and exposure to it at school, which I would have thought was pretty funny if she weren't serious.  I really think the icing on the cake though was when she compared being transgendered to doing drugs.  Again, not sure on how that logical leap happens, but in her warped head it did.
So other than being sickly amusing to those of us who know better; this is also highly dangerous.  This right her has the potential of being the beginning of another transgendered teens suicide.  Here you have a vulnerable teenager, we all remember our teen years they suck to begin with, struggling to come to terms with feelings that are obviously conflicting with how they was raised.  This teen then goes to their father looking for help and instead of support they are about to get, if the father follows this advice, invalidated at best and humiliated at worst. 
This is the type of action from parents and the religious communities that leads to depression and suicide in our LGBTQ teens.  It needs to stop.  We need to find a way to reach out to these young people and offer them the support they need when their parents and religious communities fail them.  In some communities, like here in Portland Oregon, where there are stronger LGBTQ communities there are some resources available.  But usually you have to seek them out.  In smaller communities, and especially in the Bible Belt, resources can be scarce.
We have been making some powerful strides in equality for the members of our community.  Marriage equality has had great gains in the last few years.  The transgendered community is seeing equality in the ability to use their preferred gender facilities in public places as well as reassignment medical expenses now being covered by Medicare.  These are all great advances, and I know there have been more I have missed. 
We still have a ways to go, and we need to start focusing on our youth.  That's a hard one too.  You have legal issues there because you don't want to get in the way of the legal parents or guardians, but on the other hand we want what's best for these kids who are struggling to find their place in this crazy and ever changing world.  I don't have the answer, but I'm putting it out in the universe that we need one and maybe somebody somewhere reading this will be more brilliant than me and come up with it.  I just know that the answer given by Amber on ChristWire.org is definitely not it. 

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