Before Bruce Jenner, we had Andrew. He was on the limelight for a while and mostly shade was thrown his way and a load of judgment with people calling him a ‘freak’ of nature. At the time he was coming out to the world, I did not fully understand the concept of transgender people. To be totally honest, I just thought that Andrew wanted to be a girl because he liked it better. So do most people. With a culture as rich as the one we have in Africa, things that can’t be explained using a myth or were ‘not there’ in the olden days are considered as abominations or brought about by the devil. Religion conflicts science and science conflicts religion and when you try to scientifically explain a trans person to a religious extremist, they just shrug and give you the ‘end times’ and ‘devil’s fault’ explanation and vice versa.
Now do not get me wrong, I am a believer of life after death and God. I do believe that we will have to answer for this life’s actions but I do have my limits. I don’t let my faith get in the way of reality. The fact is that some people are just born different. Growing up my whole life, I have been told that we as human beings will never fully understand the works of God. Why he does what He does and why He does it. I believe that trans people just like all 7 billion of us were wonderfully and beautifully made in the image and likeness of God. I’m going to quote the book of Psalms that says God knew us before we were conceived in our mother’s wombs. The book of Jeremiah further adds that God has wonderful plans for us all. Not to bring us pain but joy. So if this God that we all claim to love so much says that he knew us, His purpose for us was to live and live happy, who are we to deny some people the right to live just as they are? Religion is not cough syrup, no one has the right to shove it down your throat claiming to know right from wrong. All the people considered by society as ‘not normal’ to me are just among the few works of God, I will never fully understand.
I have been reading about the transgender persons. A transgender person is one who faces some sort of conflict with their sexual identity. Sexual identity is very different from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is when a person is attracted to males, females or in some cases both. That is why we have heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals. Those are the most identified sexual orientations among people. Sexual identity is who you are as a person. Who you identify yourself to be. Transgender people in a layman’s language feels different from how they look. They are not comfortable and do not ‘fit in’ the sexes that were assigned to them in their birth certificates. There is no exact explanation as to why some people have conflicting sexual identities from the ones assigned to them but that does not in any way mean that they are abnormal.
We tend to shun and case away the things that we do not understand or make sense to us. There are no clear laws that protect transgender people. ‘Normal’ people consider them outcasts and there have been constant battles in court because the government will not identify transgender people as part of the society. It is common sense and a moral obligation to treat people with respect and right. You do not need a book to tell you that if you do not eat, you will starve to death. If you go out on a rainy day without an umbrella, you will get rained on. It’s all common sense.
Transgender people are just like you and me facing personal struggles of our own. Yes, the mismatch in their gender identity is what is poked into a lot but they are not insane or devils, they are just people and it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that all they want is to feel appreciated and accepted. You call yourself human, they do so too. I stand with the transgender community because I do believe God created us all for a reason and a season just the way we are. Imperfect and full of flaws but in His own image. Each one of us is given life so that we can live it the way we deem comfortable. The way we deem right. Don’t be the judge and jury to someone else’s struggle because it’s a little different from your own.
Don’t listen to people’s judgments because they don’t live your life. Don’t judge others because you don’t live their life.
All comments and critiques are welcome.
I intend to do more research on sexual orientation and sexual identity because this is just the tip of the iceberg! We all have so much more to learn.