I'm a gay man who's always been a little unclear on the "T" part of the GLBT community, and I was particularly befuddled by the transgender person who wrote to you asking why it's so hard to meet a quality man "who'll walk with you down the street, contribute to the bills and make a home." What exactly are we talking about here -- a man who dresses like a woman (at home? in public?) and wants one man to be with him all the time? What makes a gay man attracted to a man who dresses like a woman? And does the guy who's dressed up think that walking around on the arm of his boyfriend will "fool" people into thinking he's a woman? What's the point? I like to think I'm non-judgmental, but it all sounds pretty weird to me. Can you shed any light?
-- Georgetown Guy
I'm glad you like to think that you're non-judgmental. However, you're wrong. You are being judgmental and somewhat closed-minded. The transgender person who wrote to me earlier isn't trying to "fool" anyone. She is trying to be happy. The point of her question was that she has all the pieces to the puzzle but had not yet put them together to craft her own happiness. Transgender is a person who feels that they are a male or female trapped in the body of the opposite sex. Many transgender people have surgery and start a lengthy and expensive hormone treatment to correct their bodies to match their mental image of themselves. If you have ever felt discriminated against as a gay man, imagine what these people go through. The next time you think it's weird, consider for a moment what the rest of the world thinks about you sucking dick or eating ass. There are enough people who tear us down. We shouldn't do it to ourselves.
When the news came out about those nightclub incidents in Chicago and Rhode Island, I was simply horrified. What a terrible way to die -- and so unnecessary! Since you spend a lot of time in nightclubs, do you think we're at risk for something similar here?
-- Washington Worrywart
Honey, you are at risk from the day you're born. Those deaths were indeed needless and horrible. Clubs here are really no more or less safe, because it's certainly possible for tragedy to strike any venue where crowds of people gather and have to make a quick exit in the event of an emergency. Given the added threat of terrorism in our daily lives, there's even greater potential for any of us to be victims and targets at any time. The point, however, is to live your life to the fullest, and not in fear. Living in fear is simply surviving -- not living.
I'm not the most devout Christian in the world, but I take my faith pretty seriously, especially around Lent. And it's times like Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and such -- when I'm most "visibly" Christian -- that most of my friends look at my like I have three heads or something. By no means do I think everyone needs to be a Christian, and I know there are a lot of bad things about institutional Christianity. But there are a lot of good things as well, and it works for me to foster my spirituality. Is there something I can do to get my friends to back off their anti-Christian stuff without making myself look like some kind of religious kook?
-- A Gay Churchgoer
Dear, I think you've answered your own question. Religion helps you nurture your own spirituality, so continue to do just that. People always criticize that which they don't know or understand. You shall serve as your own light by example, not by your words. Take consolation in the words of Christ: "Blest are those who are persecuted for holiness' sake; the reign of God is theirs." And if that doesn't work, damn 'em all to Hell!
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.