Monday, August 20, 2007
Here's a light topic, the transgendered. I don't have a lot to say about it and I'm not sure I can ever understand it but after meeting Jennifer Boylan (she spoke at our college some time ago), and hearing her story, I at least have some, very miniscule, but some, understanding of the personal suffering that many who opt for this life endure.
There was an article in the magazine section of the Boston Globe this sunda called "Freeing Up Deborah" about a Dr. Roy Berkowitz-Shelton who after 25 years of marriage, kids, a successful medical practice, decided to live life as a woman. He proceeded to go through a number of medical/surgical procedures and hormones. He also went through many hours of therapy. The story speaks of the transformation, which did not include "gender reassignment" as of yet but. Roy Berkowitz-Shelton is no more; Dr. Deborah Bershell is her new name.
The article goes far more into detail about the life and plight of Bershell, much of what was interesting insight into something that clearly can't make sense to most that haven't gone through that. But there was something that I found very odd and that is that she was really upset that the woman she married when she was a man no longer wanted to remain married. Bershell seemed convinced that the marriage would be able to endure and this is something that can never make sense to me at all.
"Gender identity and sexual attraction are completely different forces," which makes some sense to me. But regardless of genders, when a couple marries, they are marrying a member of a specific gender. In the marriage of Dr. Roy and his wife, she very clearly married a person that she was certain was a man, in every sense of the word. So at such a time that Dr. Roy became (transitioned into) a woman, it is right for her to think that everything could remain the same? The question that does keep coming to mind it whether it is possible for a love, or a bond (such as that in what most would consider in a happy and loving marriage) between two people of a specific gender could be so strong that is could ever endure one of the people changing genders?
This is a major heavy topic and not one everyone can handle; I am not sure I always can. I do know that it will always be important to be accepting of all people and that we all need to try to understand these issues.