Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Hermaphrodite: Donna Rose
It was only a matter of time. The real-life drama of being transsexual has come to Hollywood. Chastity Bono, the impossibly cute little blond girl who, for many of my generation, remains frozen in time as the sweet, chubby-faced cherub closing many a Sonny and Cher show in the arms of her doting parents, recently announced that he is transsexual and will be transitioning from female to male. He will go by the name of Chaz.
As shocking as this news may be to some, it is yet another reminder that all is not necessarily as it appears and that each of us is more complicated than simply the skin and bones of our bodies. Rather, it is our heart and spirit that defines us.
Transgender people -- that is, people who may not experience or express their gender in ways that are necessarily typical for the physical sex of their body -- have been part of the fabric of cultures for as long as history has been recorded.
We're a cross-section of society -- pilots, engineers, doctors, factory workers, artisans and pretty much anything else you can imagine. It was only a matter of time before we came to Hollywood. Make no mistake -- Chaz isn't the first and certainly won't be the last.
Despite what others choose to believe, transsexual people are no longer relegated to hiding in safe little shadows for fear that society will detect them and punish them. We are far more than traditional stereotypes of transpeople as hookers, drug-users, porn stars or social misfits relegated to the fringes of society.
In a very real sense, transgender people are no one thing. We are everyone, everywhere. Whether you realize it or not, we go to your school, we are active in your communities of faith, we are your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members.
We live in a world that tries to force all of us to conform to the expectations and roles established for our bodies at birth, yet our heart and our spirit often realize that we have been miscast in life. We are forced to ask questions of ourselves about things that few ever consider.
at 6:28 AM