I don’t like people who wear purple shirts. Seriously, if God wanted us to wear purple shirts, he’d have made us all girls. Or Prince.
My dislike of people who wear purple shirts makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like that I dislike people who wear purple shirts. I mean, people who wear purple shirts are God’s children, just like me. They should have the same rights as people who wear red shirts or blue shirts or no shirts at all.
And I do my best to treat people who wear purple shirts the same as everyone else, but sometimes I fall short. I mean, they’re wearing purple shirts. You can’t wear a purple shirt and be tough. I know that I shouldn’t think that way, but I do. And I’m trying like hell not to.
Obviously, this post isn’t about purple shirts. (And believe it or not, it’s not a gratuitous post to gawk at much of Rebecca Romijn’s upper body.) (That’s a fringe benefit.)
President Trump reversed President Obama’s stance on transgendered people in the military this week. And the usual battle lines have been drawn–battle lines manned by combatants who are absolutely certain about their righteousness. Because this issue is simple, right?
Except it’s not.
A woman born before the Korean War isn’t an evil bigot if she’s uncomfortable with someone who’s not a woman in the same rest room. She’s not a hate criminal. She’s not trying to consign an entire class of people as outcasts. She’s uncomfortable with a massive change that she hasn’t really had a chance to come to terms with. Screaming at her obvious bigotry isn’t going to help her come to accommodation. It’s going to harden her resolve.
On the other hand, the people going through gender reassignment aren’t embarking on a long, difficult (expensive) process because they woke up one morning and wanted to feel pretty. It’s a very public, extremely risky process to go through. How will your loved ones accept you? Your friends? What’s work going to be like? How will the people who live around react? You don’t chance that stuff on a whim.
As an aside, I had to go to this dress shop once. I was the only guy in the place. And, as it happened, I drank a mess of coffee before I went there. And they had a place where I could release the coffee back into the wild without causing a ruckus. If I, a guy in a dress shop, could take a leak without a commotion, then a woman who used to be a guy should also be able to do the same.
Both the transgendered person and the person uncomfortable with that person in the same bathroom get to have their respective positions. And it doesn’t make them better or worse people based solely on those aspects of their existence.
This issue isn’t going away. As a society, we have to find a way to accommodate that. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you have to find a way to peace with it. Anything else is shaking your fist at the rain. You aren’t evil or stupid, but you–we–are going to have to make accommodation.
Because ultimately, they are us. They hold jobs, pay taxes. They love and are loved. They have moments of stunning generosity and heart-stopping selfishness. They have moments of pure goodness and do things that cause them to blush in private.
And God kind of digs them.
You know, just like you.
And Rebecca Romijn.