Friday, January 9, 2015

Why I'm Leelah Alcorns Greatest Nightmare

And why I could have been her greatest hope.

As you remember, she had written she didn't want to go through life looking like a "man in drag"  It's no secret I have struggled with "passing privilege" my entire life and not the example I would want to show a young transgender girl.  Then again, I do.

I wanted to show her I could have been her greatest hope.  After all, at the least, transgender people like me are survivors. We have been through the taunts, the rejections and the suicide attempts.  With, or without our families we have made it.  If Leelah was sitting in front of me today, I could say yes it does get better to an extent but changes more.

I thought it was interesting Tom, the moderator/therapist of the show (who continually pleaded ignorance on LGBTQ issues) wasn't ignorant enough to not mention one person who went through SRS, lived as a woman for years and now wants to go back to living as a man.  About that time I was trying to call back the final part of the show and rejoin the discussion-but couldn't get back in.

You see Leelah, it would be easy for me to brush off your 17 year old ideas of finality. What you see at 17 is a brush with reality and far from final.  Don't we all know the kids in high school who peaked then?  Tom, could mention attempting to reverse a sex change after 30 years but didn't have the information about puberty blocking medications?  It just seems to me a person who deals with teen counseling would have some sort of idea.

I'm biased of course but if Leelah was my child, I would recommend the puberty blockers as a "hedge bet".

So yes, I am the person (quoting Tom) who sounded "like a man" on the phone. (I do) but Leelah, it's so sad no one encouraged you to go on puberty hold. The gender landscape is changing so rapidly, your future would have been so bright and not similar at all to mine. Plus, due to length considerations on the radio (I assume) no mention was made of the family's desire to pull Leelah out of school.  I didn't bring it up because I am not sure of the extent of the accuracy.

Plus, lost in all of this is the semi truck driver who was just making a living.  Does Leelah's church pray for him?




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A Life in Gender Flux