We live in the information age and there are an uncoutable number of good things which result from this. I’m sure most of us would testify that how we worked out our gender issues was heavily influanced by having access to the information available now that was denied to us as little as 15 years ago, let alone the years before.
There was a time when even the local library, in most places, wouldn’t have had any real information about cross-gender identity or behavior. You ended up being reduced to lurid, slanted news stories or outright fiction. In truth, it can be argued that it’s only in the last 50 years that science has even tried to get a handle on these subjects – how much couldthey tell us when they had no answers themselves?
Now, of course, things are different. While certainly every source can’t be trusted, the wealth of information available on realy any subject at all is staggering and sometimes far more than the average person can digest.It’s difficult even for the invested person to keep up with the flow of new information even if they somehow manage to digest al that is in existance at any given moment.
Certainly, though, the ability we have now to refine our understanding of ourselves, and how we relate to each other – whether “other” refers to cis people or any of the various sorts of gender non-conforming lives that people live – is staggering in how much it has progressed just within our own lifetimes.
To take as one example, I’m coming up on my 24th anniversary, include the datign period and my spouse and I have known each other 25 years. One of her greatest sources of resentment is the fact that she wasn’t told about my situation before committing to marriage, and in a vacuum, I would have to agree that’s a legitimate complaint. But what I can’t get her to appreciate is that 1989 might as well have been 1389 in terms of how much the average person had access to accurate information about being trans. There was simply no resource, except the disapproving instructions of a minister had you been desperate enough to ask, commonly available in small-town America for one to even properly understand themselves, let alone the implications for their loved ones.
Which brings me to the reason for tonight’s thoughts: are you in a position where you need to tell your spouse or some other loved one about your self? Whether that be full n transsexual, or simply a crossdressing hobby, remember that the person in question has very likely been indoctrinated with some very unflattering and inaccurate stereotypes. You may well need to combat that with something besides voicing your own (presumed to be self-serving) opinions. One of the great ways to do that is to hook the person up with reading resources, either online, or in print, or both.
There are a lot of great options out there but here’s my word of caution: not all of them agree with each other and not all of them agree with your own experience of yourself. What you DON’T want to do is hook them up with a source which undermines you by asserting something you don’t feel applies to you. For instance, there are sources out there which will build the narrative that it’s all about a sexual fetish. For some CDs, it is – but they are a minority. Other examples can easily be made but you get the idea. Game plan? YOU read it first and see if you identify with the descriptions You want the education to clarify, not confuse the issue.
Readers are encourage to comment with any resources they’d recommend, as well as comment regarding what “angle” the recommended resource takes.
Image by George Couros