Let's get that out of the way up front. I am not trans-phobic in any way that I can imagine defining the word. I've known trannies in both directions, and I'm fine with it. Also note that I am not now, nor have I ever been, anti-homosexual in any way. To the best of my recollection, and my recollection is more reliable than most people's, there has never been a time when I bore any ill will to any homosexuals, men or women, in general or in particular. Live and let live; let people be themselves. I think it goes without saying that the state trying to forbid married couples from performing certain acts in the privacy of their own homes is a complete non-starter. I think that's true for any two or more consenting adults who don't make a spectacle of themselves. Keep it quiet, and keep it to yourselves. It's none of my business. Do I hear a “but” coming?
But, I do not support rights for pedophiles, beyond the right to be imprisoned with the general population. Don't ask me to make any close calls in this area, like a seventeen year old high school boy with a fifteen year old girlfriend in a state where the age of consent is sixteen. But in general, pedophiles are outside of any reasonable society's norms of behavior. There are limits.
My feelings about barnyard sex are somewhat ambiguous. Aren't animals still considered property? Did that change while I wasn't paying attention? Have dogs been awarded privacy rights? Even so, there would still be the farm animals, they are certainly property. Sheep, horses. So I guess the farm animals are fair game, no? If they are property, well, I can't imaging a guy getting arrested for fucking his couch. And this is one area where almost all of the enthusiasts are men. Pitchers and catchers, too! That aspect of it gets pretty amazing. I remember reading a few years ago about a guy in the Pacific Northwest who “died after having sex with a horse.” I assumed that he was slipping it to a mare and she kicked him to death, or maybe he had a heart attack or something. But, no. The article was a bit vague, so you didn't really figure it out until you got to the part where it was explained that the guy bled to death from a perforated colon. I'm going to leave this whole line of inquiry to the legal experts.
Here is my guilty admission for today: I do think that American society has gotten completely carried away with categorizing people, mostly for the purpose of judging them. Harshly, in most cases.
Thinking about this the other day, I took pen in hand and set forth a list of the potential categories for non-standard sexual preferences. I was over twenty before I gave up. The variety is amazing, and everything that I was considering should be within a persons rights to define themselves.
Take gay men, for instance. Just your average man who seeks tenderness and affection (read: sex) from other men. There are at least a dozen categories right there.
There are gay men whose appearance and mannerisms are completely, perfectly male. It's not a disguise; that's just the way they are. No gaydar could make one certain about them, and they would casually be assumed to be straight. Then at the other end of that spectrum there are guys who display wild exaggerations of feminine mannerisms that are so obvious that you can spot them two blocks away. Then consider that there are guys at every click along this spectrum. Slightly Nelly; very Nancy; quietly swish; swish only when drinking; every possibility.
Then consider that gay men, like all humans, pick and choose from the available sexual behaviors that the human body makes possible. Many gay men only engage in oral activities. Among the inserts crowd, there are guys who are exclusively pitchers and others who only catch. A lot of guys are game for anything, and I worked with one guy who seemed to be actively hungry for everything, like he had a checklist and needed to fill in all of the boxes. Devices were involved. There is a tremendous diversity of behavior here, and this is only the gay men! And we haven't even begun to discuss cross-dressing!
As a concession to the brevity of life, I will refrain from duplicating the above analysis as it regards lesbians.
I think that it's important to admit that once we cross the border into trannie territory, all of the decisions become more critical, and perhaps even more private because doctors have become involved. Oh, but that's a two-edged sword, isn't it? The doctor-patient privilege protects private information, but the fact of the relationship itself is very visible! That must be disagreeable for shy participants.
This is the area where the rest of us, the “just folks,” can get a bit confused. Partly because here, too, there is a broad spectrum required to display people's desires and needs, psychological and physical, and that entire spectrum is more obscure to the rest of us. My own emotions regarding people who are simply gay are clear and straightforward: go for it! I enjoy your company, and I appreciate your grace and charm. Regarding the trans- crowd, I cannot help but experience a vague feeling of compassion that cannot exactly resolve itself into clarity. I wish them well, and I wish them success in their journey, but I cannot quite come to grips with my emotions, because I'm never quite sure what “success” they are shooting for, or what is the nature of the journey that they are on.
Doctors are necessary for all of it, though, and that is, I think, the important dividing line. Many people are not happy somehow with their gender identity, not happy in a way that is so deep that it cannot be satisfied just by modifying their behavior in some way. Some of them want hormone treatments, but no surgery. Some are satisfied with cross dressing and a bit of hormone therapy. Some men just want to smooth out their skin, raise their voices a little, and grow their hair. They may wish to look better in their dresses, but it's possible that they only want that body. Many women are content to dress in men's clothing that minimizes their female sexual characteristics, adding a men's haircut. Other men and women wish to go as far as medical science can take them into the realm of becoming the other sex, physical characteristics and all. What they may want in the way of tenderness and comfort is beyond my meager talents to discern. Unless it's obvious, of course, but often it is not.
My plea here is to be understood as a person whose heart is in the right place regarding our trans brothers and sisters, even if my head is a bit late sometimes in catching up. To anyone engaged in that struggle, I say be strong and the best of luck to you. Don't pay too much attention to the stupid shit that the rest of us say. What do we know anyway?