Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote. It matters. Even the little local races.

The local newspaper posed this question to candidates for a school board seat in my district:
Last year, the school board voted to extend employment, discrimination and harassment protection to gay, lesbian and bisexual employees. Should the same protection be extended to transgender employees, including transsexuals and cross-dressers?
And this is how one candidate (school board candidates do not designate party affiliation) responded:
Transgender employees, if there are any, including transsexuals and crossdressers, need to keep it discreet and out of the work place. Parading their masquerades in front of developing impressionable, young mentalities isn’t fair to the children’s natural right to choose a future of procreation. What may be fair to the transgender, transsexual, and crossdressers would definitely be unfair to children no matter what their ages. DON’T OFFEND THE NATURAL RIGHT OF CHILDREN TO CHOOSE A FUTURE LIFE OF PROCREATION.
Our masquerades?  And what gender would you consider to be my masquerade?  I've lived 43 years outwardly as male, and have self-identified as female for most of them, at least since I had any sense of gender differences.  When I am dressed and behaving as a female, I feel more content and natural, but on the other hand, I've had a rich and mostly happy life as a male.  My gut reaction is that my male aspect is my masquerade, but that's not really fair to everyone who has touched my life knowing me as male.  I was as honest and true to them as I possibly could be in every way but my gender presentation.  So, no masquerades from this transsexual, sir.

What about the question of impressionable young minds?  Well, here I have an answer that may surprise some people.  If you know that I purposely have kept my own transsexuality from my kids in part because I did not want to influence their self-identification with respect to gender and sexuality, then you may assume that I agree with this candidate that children should not be exposed to such "confusion".  However, I think the role of a parent is very different than that of a teacher, and I had no problem with my kids having teachers who appeared androgynous, who were homosexual (or just rumored to be), or any other variation on "normal" presentation.  In fact, I think it's important that kids are exposed to the wide variety of humanity in the world so as to recognize that there is no reason to treat anyone with any less respect for completely superficial reasons.

By the way, I liked the response (to the same question above) given by one of this clown's opponents.  Short and sweet:
I do not support discrimination in any form.

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