Friday, October 12, 2007

Living your truth...

My nap-time treat is to walk on the treadmill and watch Oprah. I take a book with me in case Oprah is boring or at least for commercials.

Today's show was about transgender parents. A few weeks ago she did a show on young adults and teens who are transgender.

If you are unfamiliar with the term transgender here is the definition from the APA. This definition is not always accepted but I feel the best about posting it over some others I found:

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. Many transgender people live part-time or full-time as members of the other gender. Broadly speaking, anyone whose identity, appearance, or behavior falls outside of conventional gender norms can be described as transgender. However, not everyone whose appearance or behavior is gender-atypical will identify as a transgender person.

Transgenderism is one of those subjects that is taboo for many people. I'll be honest. I don't know much about it myself. My first encounter with a transgender person was in college. In fact for a couple of years I rudely called her he/she or it. She worked at a restaurant that my friends and I would visit. In fact, we called the restaurant T-Dees, adding the 't' for transgender.

I'm not ashamed of my behavior then. Honestly, I think most people react poorly when they know little about a situation that they feel uncomfortable with.

She tried the entire show to understand what it must be like to live in a body that you don't feel is really yours. One of the women (former man) said, after being asked to explain why she wasn't just gay, 'Sex in in-between your legs, gender is in your head'.

Fascinating stuff! I sure don't understand it all - and I'm really not sure how I feel about it.

Still, what really moved me about the show is that here are these people, who believe something SO firmly about themselves and are willing to risk everything they have and believe in order to be themselves.

One of the things that Oprah said, which I guess is one of her catch phrases, is 'Live your truth'. She told one of the guests that she was so proud of them for living their truth.

It made me think. Am I living my truth? No this doesn't mean I think I'm a man. I don't. But your truth can be a million things.

So much to think about...both about others and myself. Never knew that Oprah could be so eye opening.

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